Unforgettable storytelling. This hybrid, auto ethnographic, play/documentary is gripping and breaks all the rules of narrative structure and obliterates the four walls of spectatorship. Kitchen sink British theatre brought to your own living room. Call this film it whatever you want, it will have you thinking about creativity, mental illness, sexual oppression, addiction and race in a whole different way.
Applying such an inventive format to what could have otherwise been a standard talking-head documentary gives this tale some serious legs. The story is a sadly familiar one, despite its famous central figure, detailing the erosion of community through vice. It is never miserablist fare though; Barnard's assured direction elevates the film to a rather singular piece of art.
Documentary-drama hybrid about the cycle of violence and sickness in poverty and degradation. A unique setup lets for the subject matter to be explored in an original way, and in such a way as that it can show the horrors and tragedies of urban poverty in the U.K. Unlike anything I’d seen before, but not necessarily in a remarkable way. It does the job and delivers on its subject matter.
This was my first MUBI watch... not bad at all. Some elements of the film confused me. The lip synching was so well done that I had a hard time knocking it into my head that some of the voices were actually those of the people the actors were playing. Ultimately, I am impressed. I had never heard of Andrea Dunbar or her story and now have a new slice of cultural insight, which I appreciate. I would recommend.
Earlier the Samantha Morton film about abandoned children ended with a statement showing the number of children affected by neglect. This doc brings it home, from the incredible cadence of Dunbar's daughters to the abject conditions that come off as natural or normal. It shows a side of England that we might not even think exists but for films like this one. The movie was incredible…
I have never seen anything like this. I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in documentary storytelling. Barnard and her cast and crew make this story important by the way that they tell it. The perspectives offered are enlightening to say the least.