Dark River + Q&A

"A fine Ruth Wilson headlines Clio Barnard's third feature, a stirring battle-for-the-land drama combining classicism with a nervous edge." Variety

Showing Times

Mon 19 Mar 18:30

After the death of her father, itinerant farm worker Alice (Ruth Wilson) returns to assert her claim to the tenancy of the run-down small holding.  Going home is deeply traumatic; everywhere she looks she is reminded of her abusing father (Sean Bean), and despite hints of the closeness they shared as children, her brother Joe (Mark Stanley) is also damaged by having remained behind.  When Joe rejects her entitlement to the farm, the struggle is not just over ownership, or farming methods, it's primarily about whose story of their childhood gets to be believed.  

This emotionally taut story of family dysfunction is familiar territory for writer/director Clio Barnard (The Selfish Giant, The Arbor).  Alienation and the de-humanising consequences of poverty set against the resilience of damaged children is not a new theme for her, albeit she credits Rose Tremain's novel Trespass for the inspiration for Dark River.  This marks a departure for Barnard, though; for the first time she is working with established actors, and both Wilson and Stanley deliver big time in this fierce Greek-tragedy-transposed-to-the-Yorkshire-Dales.  It's not an easy watch but ex-video artist Barnard is a powerful, gifted, intelligent film maker who isn't afraid to confront and challenge.  

We are happy to have Dark River's producer Tracy O'Riordan and casting director Amy Hubbard with us for a live Q&A after the screening.


Film Information

90 mins

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