The Selfish Giant

Clio Barnard | 2013 | ★★★½
Excluded from school, fast friends Arbor and Swifty (Conner Chapman & Shaun Thomas) take to scavenging for scrap for a decidedly dodgy local dealer (Sean Gilder). Taking out his horse and cart, they soon find themselves making enough money to pay off some of their parents’ debts. However, with Arbor becoming ever more obsessed with scrapping, and with Swifty’s attentions having turned more towards horses, they quickly begin to grow apart, in this gripping grim-up-north working-class fable. The performances of Chapman and Thomas are entirely convincing, with Mike Eley’s photography, which perfectly captures the northern gloom, also proving noteworthy.