Keswick Film Festival

Sunday 30th January 5:00 PM - Alhambra

The Arbor

Director: Clio Barnard Country: UK
Cert: 15 Year: 2009 Length: 94 mins
Spring 2011
The Arbor

Programme Notes

Programme Notes (PDF 83KB)

Audience Reaction

Score: 68.21% Attendance: 109



  • More details on this film at the Internet Movie Database

One of the most remarkable films of 2010, nominated for six BIFA Awards, this genre-defying piece is set in Brafferton Arbor, the area of Bradford where late playwright Andrea Dunbar grew up. Dunbar, author of harsh, unflinchingly realistic plays (Rita, Sue and Bob Too!) about life in The Arbor, continued to live on the estate until her early death in 1990. For two years director Clio Barnard interviewed people who knew Dunbar, and now has used actors who lip-synch to recordings made with the playwright and her family, largely concentrating on the troubled relationship with her daughter Lorraine. This footage is mixed with newly filmed excerpts from Dunbar’s first play (also called The Arbor), as acted in the streets where she grew up.

Number 5 on Sight & Sound’s 'Top Ten of 2010'.


Moving, bold, unconventional and impeccably staged, The Arbor is a worthy tribute to a powerfully artistic voice.
Anna Smith, Empire

Revealing, moving and entirely individual.
Jonathan Romney, Uncut

A compelling insight into a challenging woman.



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