In 1996 "Trainspotting" was the biggest thing in British culture. Brilliantly and aggressively marketed it crossed into the mainstream despite being a black comedy set against the backdrop of heroin addiction in Edinburgh. Produced by Andrew MacDonald, scripted by John Hodge and directed by Danny Boyle, the team behind "Shallow Grave" (1994), "Trainspotting" was an adaptation of Irvine Welsh's barbed novel of the same title. The film is crucial for understanding British culture in the context of devolution and the rise of "Cool Britannia". Murray Smith unpicks the processes that led to the film's enormous success. He isolates various factors - the film's eclectic soundtrack, its depiction of Scottish identity, its attitude to deprivation, drugs and violence, its traffic with American cultural forms, its synthesis of realist and fantastic elements, and its complicated relationship to "heritage" - that make "Trainspotting" such a vivid document of its time.