Tomorrow sees the release of The Selfish Giant in selected cinemas and on demand. It comes from Clio Barnard whose documentary film The Arbor – about playwright Andrea Dunbar – was BAFTA nominated in 2011.
Inspired by some of the people she met on the Buttershaw estate during the filming of The Arbor, The Selfish Giant follows two boys, Arbor and Swifty, on a Bradford estate as they are pulled into the world of copper theft.
The trailer for this film compels me to see it. Aside from the praise critics have heaped upon it, Barnard’s first feature looks beautifully shot. The rough fields overlooking Britain’s decaying industry in the shadow of bleak grey skies embodies a kind of truthful realism.
The strength of the characters looks impressive too with convincing performances from the cast. The intricate relationship between these two seemingly different boys has great potential as they are pulled deeper into a destructive lifestyle.
There’s a strong undercurrent of community and society in Barnard’s film, yet it appears to avoid becoming overly gritty. Even this short trailer highlights Arbor’s entrepreneurial spirit, raising questions about how differently he might be viewed if this quality were channelled in another way. The Selfish Giant has some interesting themes bubbling away and I’m keen to see how these develop throughout the film.
I think The Selfish Giant could be one to watch at the BAFTAs this year so I’ll definitely be giving it a look. Check out some of the stunning images from the film and watch the trailer below. What do you think? Will you be seeing The Selfish Giant this weekend?