If you like Ken Loach’s social realism, and especially if you like Kes, this is the film for you. It is the second film by the very talented Clio Barnard to whom Mark Kermode has recently awarded one of his prestigious Kermodes (for films not recognised by the Oscar machine) for best film of last year and described her as one of the best directors working in Britain today.
It is a story of attachment and loss, set in the gritty surrounds of Bradford in the modern day reality of recession and the need to find ways to survive. It features standout performances from two boys who had not acted in films before. It is not all doom and gloom as there is a surprising redemptive and moving ending.
The film is loosely based on the story The Selfish Giant, by Oscar Wilde, but it is a puzzle to work out who the selfish giant in this film is. Is it Kitten, the scrap metal merchant? Or is it the cooling towers or pylons that loom over the landscape? David Thomson sees it as more Dickensian than Wildean and describes it as a masterpiece.
Venue: William Loveless Hall