A housing project in Northern England known as The Arbor left an indelible impression on playwright Andrea Dunbar. She grew up there, named her first play after it, and based all of her subsequent work there. Director Clio Barnard could have adapted Dunbar's play The Arbor for the screen or made a conventional documentary on her life, but instead she has crafted a captivating and truly unique work that transcends genre and defies categorization. After spending two years conducting audio interviews with Dunbar's family, friends, and neighbors, Barnard filmed actors lip-synching the interviews, flawlessly interpreting every breath, tick, and nuance. Barnard's film focuses in particular on the playwright's troubled relationship with her daughter Lorraine. Dunbar died tragically in 1990 at age 29; Barnard connects with Lorraine—now age 29 herself—to reintroduce her to her mother's plays and private letters, prompting her to reflect on the parallels between their lives.
Douglas Hickox Award, British Independent Film Awards; Best Novel Filmmaker & Best Original Opera Prima , London Film Festival 2010; Best Documentary Filmmaker, Tribeca Film Festival.
’s work is concerned with the relationship between fictional film language and documentary. She has often dislocated sound and image by constructing fictional images around verbatim audio. Her films include: Plotlands
(Whitstable Biennale), Road Race
(Film London), Random Acts of Intimacy
(BFI/Channel 4) and Headcase
(Arts Council England / Channel 4). Her work has shown in cinemas, international film festivals and galleries including Tate Modern, Tate Britian and MoMA, New York. The Arbor
is Clio Barnard’s debut feature.
The Arbor (2010)
Random Acts of Intimacy (2002)
Lambeth Marsh (2000)