Clio Barnard shines through assured direction and consummate storytelling in this profound Fable about two young boys bound by friendship and woe.
Welcoming us in the first month of 2014 is the DVD arrival of this low-key and quietly moving work inspired by the short story of the same name by Dublin’s finest, Oscar Wilde.
British director Clio Barnard – who is fast building a feted reputation amongst the current crop of home-grown filmmakers – provides an engrossing tale of two recalcitrant 13-year old lads from Bradford who befriend a local scrap dealer.
The pair (Arbor and Swifty) are quick to encounter hard lessons from their tentative steps into the real world. Arbor, in particular, is seemingly hell-bent on destruction. He is wildly out of control. Meanwhile, his companion Swifty is a softer soul who nurtures a special bond with the scrap dealer’s horse. As matters spiral out of control, the differing courses that these two boys wish to take will be united by a singular event that will haunt them both forever.
With a delicate eye that at once never shies away from the dark follies of teenage rebellion but also sympathetic to the twists and turns of hormonal turbulence, Clio Barnard steers matters with undeniable grace towards a gripping crescendo.
It is a thoughtful and stirring film. Highly recommended.
‘The Selfish Giant’ is released on 27th January 2014 on DVD and Blu-Ray.
Here is the trailer: