Clio Barnard, one of Britain’s most distinctive contemporary filmmakers, follows The Selfish Giant and The Arbor with Dark River, a searing Yorkshire-set drama inspired by Rose Tremain’s acclaimed rural novel Trespass.
Following the death of her father, Alice (Ruth Wilson, Saving Mr. Banks) returns home for the first time in 15 years, to claim the tenancy of the family farm she believes is rightfully hers. Once there she encounters her older brother Joe (Mark Stanley, Game of Thrones), a man she barely recognizes, worn down by years of struggling to keep the farm going whilst caring for their sick father (Sean Bean, Lord of the Rings). Joe is thrown by Alice’s sudden arrival, angered by her claim and finds her presence increasingly difficult to deal with. Battling to regain control in a fraught situation, Alice must confront traumatic memories and family betrayals to find a way to restore the farm and salvage the bond with her brother before both are irrevocably lost.
Combining the poetic realism of The Selfish Giant with a heightened strain of tragedy, Dark River is a dark folk tale of family secrets which has impressed critics and is set to become a modern classic of British drama.