Previously at the ICA - Films

Clio Barnard, The Selfish Giant, 2013

The Selfish Giant

27 Dec 201329 Dec 2013

Winner of Best European Film in the Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes, The Selfish Giant is a pitch-perfect portrayal of working class families in strife.

Loosely inspired by Oscar Wilde’s short story of the same name, it concerns mouthy, rebellious 13-year-old Bradford lad Arbor (Chapman) and his gentle best friend Swifty (Thomas). The pair supply stolen ‘wares’ to a local scrap dealer, the ironically named Kitten (Gilder, Shameless), a man content to send children into dangerous territory for financial gain. Blending social realism with plentiful myth and symbolism, director Barnard renders the boys’ story both entertaining and deeply moving; comparisons to Ken Loach’s Kes are well earned, while comic moments recall early Mike Leigh.

With her added talent for experimenting with genres, Barnard can now be considered one of Britain’s leading talents, and this, her second feature, is not to be missed.

The Selfish Giant, dir Clio Barnard, UK 2013, 91 mins

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