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Special Presentation

Dark River

One of contemporary British cinema's most distinctive filmmakers, Clio Barnard follows The Selfish Giant and The Arbor with this searing and eloquent Yorkshire set drama exploring the fragility of familial relationships.


Dir-Scr Clio Barnard
Prod Tracy O’Riordan
With Ruth Wilson, Mark Stanley, Esmé Creed-Miles, Joe Dempsie, Sean Bean
UK Distribution Arrow Films

Inspired by Rose Tremain's novel Trespass, Dark River follows two siblings as they struggle to come to terms with their inheritance, following the death of their Father. Fiercely holding on to a promise made long-ago, independently-minded Alice (Ruth Wilson) returns home for the first time in 15 years to claim family farm. Her grieving brother Joe (Mark Stanley) has spent years looking after their father (Sean Bean) and has scarcely kept the property afloat. Estranged for so long they can barely communicate, Alice soon incurs her brother's wrath when she claims legal tenancy. As tensions mount, troubling memories surface and the real reason for her prolonged absence is revealed. Barnard's expressive use of landscape and Adriano Goldman's haunting camerawork amplify two commanding performances, Wilson's displaying all the power and vulnerability so evident in her recent TV (The Affair) and stage work (Hedda Gabler) , with Stanley (Game of Thrones) equally compelling as a man who has squandered his life in denial of the past.

Clare Stewart

Festival guests

These members of the filmmaking team are expected to attend the festival:

  • Clio Barnard, Director; Mark Stanley, Cast; Ruth Wilson, Cast

See the full list of visiting festival guests. Please note that we can't guarantee guest attendance at any particular screening.

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