Entertainment Magazine> Film> 2010> "The Arbor"

The Arbor - A Family Torn Apart by Tragedy (Documentary)

By Miv Evans

The Arbor is a documentary about a Yorkshire family torn apart because of a woman's refusal to take care of anyone, including herself.  It is steeped in sadness and the waste of it all but the renowned British stiff upper lip is in full play and it feels more like people doing their dirty washing in public than the tragedy that it is.   The entire piece is laced with drama, we get to know the characters well, whether they want us to or not, and it should be watched by everyone who thinks they're not marked by their past.  Because you very likely are.        
Andrea Dunbar was one of seven children brought up on a Yorkshire council estate.  She sold her first theatre play when she was 19 and died of a brain hemorrhage at the age of 29.   

"The Arbor" International Movie Release Dates

  • UK 2010
  • USA 25 April 2010 (Tribeca Film Festival)
  • Czech Republic 3 July 2010 (Karlovy Vary International Film Festival)
  • Germany 1 October 2010 (Hamburg Film Festival)
  • USA 20 September 2010

She was an alcoholic and bore three children, all fathered by different men. When she died Andrew, her son, went to live with his father, Lisa to her maternal grandmother but Lorraine, the eldest, ended up in foster care.   
Initially this documentary seems to be Andrea Dunbar's story, but as secrets come tumbling out, we drift, and Lorraine takes centre stage.  She has clearly suffered much, much more than her siblings and is able to recall incident after incident of her mother's appalling parenting, an example of which is the night the three children were rescued by neighbors from their burning bedroom.  They were unable to escape because Andrea always removed the bedroom door handle so the three couldn't get out and disturb her. 
What is missing from this film are clips from Andrea's produced plays and film.  Scenes are reenacted on the central green of the Yorkshire council estate, and although this gives us an insight into what Andrea wrote, the actual productions would have added so much more and been such a contrast to the squalid details of the person she became or, perhaps, always was.  Also, the director's decision to use professional actors and lip synch the real characters' voices works as far as it needs to, but it does seem to detract from the truthfulness and makes everything that much less intimate.    
Whether we are aware of it or not, we all long for the familiar, however bad that may have been, and in Lorraine's case, this is the driving force in her life.  She is unaware that her resentment for her mother is stopping her facing the truth about her own life and, as absolutely justified as she is, she continues to use it as a tool to allow the status quo to continue. 
Would that she were the only one.To read more reviews by Miv Evans, visit www.emol.org/reporters/evans

Films in 2010

Film Home Page | Entertainment Magazine

© 2010 Film Entertainment Magazine / EMOL.org. All rights reserved.

Film Entertainment Magazine


250x250 Geo Key
Go Fandango!

Buy Fandango Movie Tickets Online

Buy advance tickets to the Toy Story 1 and 2 Double Feature in 3D and get points for posters, DVDs and more!

Buy 1 movie ticket on Fandango and receive a second ticket to the same show free when you use your Visa Signature card.


Blockbuster Total Access - 2 Week Free TrialTry BLOCKBUSTER Total Access FREE! Get the convenience of renting movies online with a choice of how to return them: send them back by mail or exchange them for new movies or discounted game rentals at participating BLOCKBUSTER® stores.


Movies streaming instantly over the Internet to your PC, Mac or TV from Netflix. Instantly watch from thousands of TV episodes & movies streaming from Netflix. Try Netflix for FREE!

Disney Store

125x125 Disney OutletLinks to online only deals on costumes and entertainment. Outlet store discounts. Save up to 60% on collectibles. See this weeks deals at the Disney Store

RealPlayer Plus

RealPlayer PlusIt's everything people want in a media player including; pristine audio/ video playback, built-in music store, access to worldwide radio.

Receive RealPlayer Plus free with your free 14 day SuperPass trial.

Watch TV Online with SuperPass - 14 Day Free Trial

Hollywood Mega Store

Officially licensed products include celebrities, movies, sports, NASCAR, TV, Marvel, DC Comics and much more. Largest selection of Movie Night & Hollywood Theme Party Supplies, Decor, Favors, and unique items. Very popular Hollywood Trophies. Hollywood and Nostalgic Gift Sets and Gift Baskets. Favored Home Theater Decorations including Reels, Commemoratives, Cinema Lamps and more. Collector items including NECA Action Figures and Head Knockers, Shotglasses, Celebriducks, Tin Signs and Zippo Lighters. Most sought after Posters, Prints and Framed Celebrity Prints. Most popular celebrity, movie and music T-shirts. Hollywood theme T-shirts, Tote Bags and Caps. Very hot JH Design Jackets and Hoodies for men, women, and kids, in all sizes. Celebrity and Novelty License Plates. Rare Vintage License Plates. California Traffic & Street Signs.

MGM Movie Store

Official Shop of MGMShop for all of your MGM favorites at MGMStore.com - Rocky, Pink Panther, Stargate, and more! Celebrity and movie clothing, Toys & Games, Jewelry and more from MGM movie titles. Collectibles and Gifts.

Warner Bros. Store

Official Shop of Looney TunesShop at the Warner Bros. Shop: WBShop.com

Toys, games, clothing, posters and more from your favorite Warner Bros. characters like Tweety & Superman and from your favorite WB movies like Harry Potter