The Arbor

The Arbor
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The Arbor
United Kingdom, 2010, 90 Minute Running Time
Topics: Art/Architecture/Film, Biopic, Documentary, Woman Director, Women
Program: True Stories
Language: English

Awards: London, Best British Newcomer Award

Debut director Clio Barnard’s stunningly original picture demonstrates just how far the genre of documentary filmmaking can be pushed. The main figure in the movie is the young and talented playwright Andrea Dunbar who made a name for herself in 1980 with a very raw and semi-autobiographical play entitled Rita, Sue and Bob Too. The plot of the play is set in the poor suburbs of the English town of Bradford, a hotbed of domestic squabbles, eternally drunk and vulgar fathers, frustrated mothers, and children in trouble with the law.

Andrea Dunbar had a similarly hard life, dying at age 29 and leaving behind three young children by three different fathers. Over a two-year period, the director made recordings of conversations she had with members and acquaintances of the Dunbar family. Then she reconstructed the playwright´s life with the help of actors who lip-synch the recordings. This remarkable film, permeated by an uneasy atmosphere, makes use of local television footage from the early 1980s showing the actual members of the Dunbar family. Winner, Best Documentary, Tribeca Film Festival.

DIRECTOR: Clio Barnard
Producer: Tracey O’Riordan
Editor: Nick Fenton, Daniel Goddard
Cinematographer: Ole Birkeland
Music: Harry Escott, Molly Nyman
Principal Cast: Manjinder Virk, Christine Bottomley, Monica Dolan, Jimi Mistry, Neil Dudgeon
Filmography: Debut Feature
Print Source: Strand Releasing -

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