|Andrea Dunbar character played by Kate Rutter|
|Director Clio Barnard|
"I wanted to return to another decade on to see what had changed and to reflect on previous representations of The Arbor," Director Barnard told us, although she had not read Dunbar's plays. " I knew the film Rita Sue and Bob Too .... picked up a copy .... which had been reprinted with A State Affair, a piece of verbatim theatre that returned to Brafferton Arbor a decade on from Andrea Dunbar’s plays."
|An illusion: The living room|
"One effect of the technique is that the actors look you directly in the eye where as in a conventional talking head documentary the interviewee would look slightly off camera. I think this means the audience listen very carefully. Perhaps not seeing the real person frustrates your voyeurism and prevents them from judging the real person."
|Illusion: Andrea and father of Lorraine|
We wondered why the real characters weren't in it. "Lorraine did not want to be on camera. All of the interviews were done without a camera, audio only. The interviews were very intimate. I wanted to avoid being judgmental. I wanted to try and understand a very complex and difficult situation and present that to an audience."
"We expect to leave the cinema feeling reassured but, especially with documentary, it is an artificial construction. Films and plays need to shape an ending but the lives examined in the film don’t come to an end when the film ends. The reality is that Lorraine will always be a recovering addict, she will continue to have ups and downs - and perhaps that is hard to accept."
Lorraine, played by Manjinder Virk
Having said that, by the end of the film Lorraine has forgiven Andrea, ‘stopped blaming’ to use her words, taken responsibility for her part in her son’s death, she is clean from drugs and looking forwards. That is a huge step for her."
Next up? "I’m working with a group of teenage boys on Brafferton Arbor making a film adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s fairy story The Selfish Giant."
The Arbor is playing at The West End Cinema. Watch the trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TyNqRdM0Y4g
A brilliant piece of cinema if you don't drift from the illusion. We look forward to the continuing saga of the next decade. It's like a great book, you can't put it down.