The Mulberry Bush School is a school for children who have become unmanageable both at home and school, usually due to a traumatic event in their lives. With two adults assigned to each student, the children at Mulberry receive ample attention. Another special aspect is the fact that students are never punished for their actions - adults attempt to keep communication open with the children, despite being kicked, hit, or spit upon. In the most extreme cases, children are put into a more-or-less 'friendly hold', from which they are released when they have calmed down and their attitude has levelled out. In her typical, silent-witness fly-on-the-wall style, director Kim Longinotto records daily life at the school. She follows students through lessons that are frequently interrupted by outbursts, during emotional conversations with visiting parents, and throughout the corridors in and around the building itself. She displays at uncomfortable length the poignant eruptions of verbal and physical violence from the students, emphasising once more to which degree the children test the staff members' patience and tolerance.