Ruth Wilson stars in British filmmaker Clio Barnard’s atmospheric and layered drama about the old wounds and bitter new grievances that come to light when a woman returns home to settle the tenancy of her family’s Yorkshire farm.
Five years after her provocative breakthrough, The Selfish Giant, director Clio Barnard returns with a highly atmospheric and emotionally charged drama that proves she is one of England’s most distinctive new voices. With Dark River, Barnard uses the Yorkshire countryside as a beautiful silent witness to the troubling tale of a family that, though previously ripped apart, is now trying to reconcile.
After a 15-year absence, Alice (Ruth Wilson) returns to the family farm following the death of her father. She finds the place in complete disrepair. Her deeply troubled brother, Joe (Mark Stanley), is ostensibly in charge, but appears to be in no state to make smart decisions. The two siblings have become like strangers to each other. Alice, bold and decisive, bolts into Joe’s life, determined to impose order and give the farm a future. Joe bristles at her every move, and sparks fly as years of resentments resurface. Slowly, layers of their past are stripped away to expose a dark secret between them. But life goes on. Landlords come knocking.
Barnard is both an energetic and a reflective filmmaker — deeply poetic, but with a realist’s eye. Here she has carefully brought to life the story of damaged people trying to cope with the past while reassembling their lives. – Toronto International Film Festival
UK, 2017 | Language: English | 89 minutes | Cert: CLUB
Director: Clio Barnard
Cast: Ruth Wilson, Mark Stanley, Sean Bean
A short Irish film, Take Me Swimming, will be shown before the feature.
Please note there is no film on 29 March or 5 April.