The Arbor

Director Clio Barnard
Genre Documentary
Runtime 94 minutes
Supplier Wavelength Pictures
Festivals/Awards Best New Documentary Filmmaker - Tribeca Film Festival 2010
Release Date In theatres on March 2, 2011
DVD/Blu-ray available on April 24, 2012


Andrea Dunbar was described as 'a genius straight from the slums.' The unflinchingly honest playwright wrote about her distressing upbringing in 1990 at the age of 29. Andrea left behind her plays and three children by three different men. Although Lorraine, Andrea's oldest daughter, acquired a knack for writing, she was unable to avoid a grim fate of her own. The documentary follows Lorraine and her other siblings on a powerful journey of reflection and self-discovery as they begin to understand the struggles their mother faced. Comprised of personal letters, interviews with Andrea's family and friends and a reading of her most celebrated play, The Arbor is as innovative in its construction and execution as it is heartbreakingly compelling.

Best New Documentary Filmmaker - Tribeca Film Festival 2010


Cast & Credits

Lorraine Dunbar Manjinder Virk
Lisa Thompson Christine Bottomley
The Girl Natalie Gavin
Young Lorraine Parvani Lingiah
Max Stafford-Clark / The Father Danny Webb

Press & Articles

“A Playwright’s Legacy, Kindled by Addiction and Neglect” - The New York Times

“Non-Fiction Innovation: Clio Barnard's 'The Arbor'” - Indiewire

“Original mixture of techniques makes this documentary provocative yet moving” - Film Journal International

“Speaking Parts: Clio Barnard's 'The Arbor'” - Cinema Scope

“'The Arbor' Review” - Film Forward

“'The Arbor': The drama and final act in the life of a playwright” - The Boston Globe

“'The Arbor' Review” - Variety

“'The Arbor': examining Andrea Dunbar's legacy” - The Telegraph

“Reviewed by Mark Kermode ” - BBC

“Life, death, art, all served raw” - The Washington Post

“Guardian first album and film awards go to small-scale, intimate works” - The Guardian

“'The Arbor' Review” - Screen Daily

The Arbor

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