Based on John Embling's book Tom, the Australian Fighting Back is set in a hellhole of a slum school. Most of the teachers have given up on the "unreachable" students. Not so idealistic John (Lewis Fitz-Gerald), who channels all his energies into elevating the intelligence and self-confidence of unruly 13-year-old Tom (Paul Smith). The latter actor is so good that it's hard to believe that Fighting Back was his first film. This sincerely-intentioned drama should not be confused with the like-vintage American actioner Fighting Back (aka Death Vengeance).
by Hal Erickson synopsis