Dark River

Director: Clio Barnard
Starring: Ruth Wilson, Mark Stanley, Sean Bean
Duration: 90 min

The third feature from Clio Barnard (The Arbor, Selfish Giant) is a brooding and emotive tale of family loyalty and betrayal. Alice (Ruth Wilson) returns home to the family farm after her father’s death, intent on claiming her inheritance. Her brother Joe (Game of Thrones’ Mark Stanley), who had been caring for their father up until his death, does not welcome her home warmly. Years of silence have estranged them, while Alice’s determination to claim legal tenancy further sours their relationship. Tensions swell as secrets are unearthed, bookended by P.J. Harvey’s interpretation of the folk song An Acre of Land.

Barnard originally conceived the film as an adaptation of Rose Tremain’s novel Trespass, which concerns family dynamics in rural France. Transplanting the bones of the story to Yorkshire, Dark River is the latest in a string of recent British films which engage with the rural landscape and stands out by the strength of its performances and Barnard’s distinctive eye.

7.5/10 2 ratings.

Club and Group screenings

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