Film Review: Life in a Northern Town

THE ARBOR (on DVD; Strand Releasing)
by Anthony Kaufman
September-October 2011
Add to My MSN

Content Tools

Related Content

Mindfulness in the Real World

The Buddhist practice of mindfulness—the engaged awareness of the present moment, of one’s self and ...

Occupy Wall Street: A Radical’s Critique

Political cartoonist and provocative commentator Ted Rall urges the thousands of protesters currentl...

Saving A Rainforest: Crockpot 08.24.12

Satirical architecture, middle class illusions, and how Ecuador is saving a rainforest.

Homeless Apartment Hunting

Shelters for the homeless, lacking sufficient space and funding, are starting to look like overcrowd...

A penetrating look at life in Northern England’s housing projects, The Arbor takes its name from Andrea Dunbar’s 1980 play about her working-class travails. But the film focuses more on the plight of Dunbar’s half-Pakistani eldest daughter, Lorraine, whose struggles make Dunbar’s seem downright peachy. To tell their dual stories of drug abuse and domestic violence, interviews with Lorraine and Dunbar’s extended family are delivered by actors. The result is an artful and resonant picture of urban blight and feminine anguish, every bit as powerful as Dunbar’s own kitchen-sink fatalism.


cover-167-thumbHave something to say? Send a letter to This article first appeared in the September-October 2011 issue of Utne Reader.

Post a comment below.


Pay Now & Save $5!
First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Want to gain a fresh perspective? Read stories that matter? Feel optimistic about the future? It's all here! Utne Reader offers provocative writing from diverse perspectives, insightful analysis of art and media, down-to-earth news and in-depth coverage of eye-opening issues that affect your life.

Save Even More Money By Paying NOW!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You save an additional $5 and get 4 issues of Utne Reader for only $31.00 (USA only).

Or Bill Me Later and pay just $36 for 4 issues of Utne Reader!