New Release: The Arbor DVD

Release Date: Sept. 6, 2011
Price: DVD $24.99
Studio: Strand Releasing

The Arbor movie scene

Natalie Gavin portrays playwright Andrea Dunbar in The Arbor.

The critically lauded 2010 documentary The Arbor follows Lorraine Dunbar, eldest daughter of the acclaimed British playwright Andrea Dunbar, as she and her siblings seek to understand the struggles their late mother faced. Well-known for her three unflinchingly honest play about her distressing upbringing on the Arbor, a notoriously underprivileged residential area in West Yorkshire, Andrea Dunbar died tragically in 1990 at the age of 29 from a brain hemorrhage.

One of Dunbar’s plays, Rita, Sue and Bob Too, was adapted into a movie in 1986 by Alan Clarke.

Directed by first-time feature helmer Clio Barnard, The Arbor is comprised of personal letters, interviews with Andrea’s family and friends and a reading of her first play, which also happens to be entitled The Arbor. Uniquely, there are sequences wherein actors mouth the words of pre-recorded interviews of the Dunbar family, Andrea included. (She’s “portrayed” in the film by Natalie Gavin.)

No bonus features are on the DVD of the unrated British film.


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About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.