The Arbor

Release March 11, 2011 (Limited)
Cast Jimi Mistry, Matthew McNulty
Director Clio Barnard
Genres Documentary, Drama
Studio Kinosmith
Length 94 mins.


The true story of British playwright Andrea Dunbar and her troubled relationship with her daughter Lorraine. When Andrea died tragically from a brain hemorrhage at the age of 29 in 1990, Lorraine was just ten years old. The Arbor refers to the Yorkshire housing project where she grew up.

Lorraine, now also 29, is in prison, serving a sentence for manslaughter for the death of her son. While in prison and undergoing rehab, Lorraine is re-introduced to her mother's plays and private letters and as she reflects on the parallels in their lives, she begins to come to terms with her role in the death of her son.

Director Clio Barnard conducted interviews with Lorraine and her siblings, then had actors lip-synch the words of the actual interviewees, as well as using archival footage.

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