TIFF 2017 Movie Review: DARK RIVER (UK 2017) ***1/2

Movie Reviews of films that will be playing at TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) in 2017. Go to TIFF 2017 Movie Reviews and read reviews of films showing at the festival.

Dark River Poster
Following the death of her father, Alice (Ruth Wilson) returns to her home village for the first time in 15 years, to claim the tenancy to the family farm she believes is rightfully hers.


Clio Barnard


Clio Barnard

Stars: Ruth WilsonMark StanleySean Bean

Director of one of the best films five years ago, THE SELFISH GIANT, DARK RIVER is another drama set in the poor north of England. The setting here is a sheep farm in Yorkshire.

Slice (Ruth Wilson) returns to the farm after a 15 year absence. She left as she was abused by her father, as shown in flashback throughout the film. Her bother, as the neighbour says, is an idiot, and not only does he no listen to reason or Alice’s advice to improve the farm, which we assume does, he is abusive and at one point attacks her while drunk.

Things get worse when he wins tenancy of the land and orders Alice out. It is a tough life for anyone working a farm, made worse with rising working tensions. Barnard’s DARK RIVER shows the emotional anguish Alice goes through.

DARK RIVER is not as satisfying as THE SELFISH GIANT, as it has less story, but the film is no less dramatic. Ruth Wilson is really good as Alice and deserves the BFTA Award for Best Actress.

Clip from the sets: https://teaser-trailer.com/dark-river-movie/


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