The Arbor

Recommended

2011 | 90 min. minutes | Rated NR

A documentary (of sorts) tracing the real-life, kitchen-sink pathos of prodigious, Thatcher-era playwright Andrea Dunbar and the three young children she left behind at the age of 29. The Arbor beautifully transcends what at first seems like an aesthetic nonstarter: a narrative told through frank, real-life audio interviews painstakingly lip-synced and re-contextualized by a cast of actors. Turns out it’s a surprisingly absorbing conceit, and one that melts masterfully into this bleak account of poverty and familial neglect.

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Film Credits
Director
Clio Barnard
Cast
Neil Dudgeon, Christine Bottomley, Manjinder Virk, Monica Dolan, Danny Webb, Christine Bottomley, Robery Emms, Natalie Gavin