The Arbor


The Arbor is film maker Clio Barnard’s remarkable adaptation of The Arbor, a play by Andrea Dunbar who, at the age of 15, wrote a script based on life in the working class Bradford estate where she lived. The film is a fusion of narrative and documentary cinema and tells the powerful true story of Andrea Dunbar and her daughter Lorraine, who was just 10 years old when her mother died in 1990. Through interviews and first-hand accounts, The Arbor offers an innovative, compelling and troubling portrait of a family trying to come to terms with abuse, death, addiction and poverty.

In April 2018, Household, in in collaboration with Artangel, Belfast Film Festival, and supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, presented The Arbor as a series of synchronised screenings in community and domestic spaces across Belfast, and invited Clio Barnard, director of The Arbor, to join artists Mariah Garnett and Ed Webb-Ingall at Girdwood Community Centre for presentations and a discussion about different approaches to working with communities and representing people and place on film. To coincide with our public programme, Belfast Film Festival programmed parallel series of screenings to accompany The Arbor.

As part of their research and in response to The Arbor screenings, Household has released a series of interviews with artists, theatre-makers, photographers and facilitators that further explore the representation of people and place in Belfast.