The Selfish Giant | DVD review – Deep compassion and shrewd insight in Clio Barnard’s superb social-realist fable

THE_SELFISH_GIANT_3D_DVDTaking inspiration from an Oscar Wilde fairy tale and the gritty social realism of Ken Loach, British filmmaker Clio Barnard has come up with an eye-opening and deeply affecting tale of two teenage boys from a deprived Bradford council estate who get perilously drawn into the exploitative world of a local scrap metal dealer (Sean Gilder).

With deep compassion and shrewd insight, Barnard depicts the scuffling lives of live-wire Arbor (Conner Chapman) and his placid, gentle friend Swifty (Shaun Thomas), two children from an already marginalised community who are being pushed even further to the edges of society.

Cinematographer Mike Eley’s striking images reveal the unexpected beauty of the liminal spaces between town and countryside where much of the boys’ tale unfolds, while Barnard elicits wonderfully naturalistic performances from her first-time actors that bring their wayward but admirably resilient characters to vivid, vigorous life.


Released on Blu-ray & DVD on Monday 27th January by Artificial Eye.


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