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The Arbor - Wellington Film Society

The Arbor - Wellington Film Society

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  • Mon 16 May ’16, 6:15pm – 7:50pm


The Paramount Theatre, 25 Courtenay Place, Wellington



Ticket Information:

  • Members free: $0.00
  • 12-month membership: $95.00

The Arbor
(Clio Barnard, UK 2010) 94 minutes M

British playwright Andrea Dunbar was 19 when her play The Arbor was staged at London’s Royal Court in 1980. Its raw, incisive portrayal of the cycles of violence and addiction on a tough Bradford housing estate was drawn directly from her own experience, brutalised and pregnant at 15. Two plays and one film (the raucous, funny Rita, Sue & Bob Too) later, she was dead, at 29. Clio Barnard’s riveting film about her legacy concentrates on the experiences of the oldest of her three children, the similarly lucid and plain-speaking Lorraine, whose conception was mirrored in the play. Illuminating the interplay of ‘reality’ and fabrication in her own work as much as in Dunbar’s, Barnard directs actors who lip-synch acutely well to the often jaw-droppingly blunt interviews she has gathered. Excerpts from the play prove its enduring, excoriating vitality, while extensive TV coverage of the young playwright and her family add a further dimension. This is an intensely moving film, as white-hot in its clarifying urgency as the work that inspired it. - Bill Gosden, NZIFF 2010.

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