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The Selfish Giant

“The first feature from Clio Barnard is both a tender ode to childhood and a wrenching eulogy for lost innocence. Barnard works so naturally within her bleak setting that she might as well be making a documentary. Both leading actors are teenagers who’ve never acted before - and they are both phenomenal.
“Connor Chapman is all kinetic anger as Arbor, a 13-year-old whose impoverished life in British public housing requires constant defense. Arbor’s best friend, Swifty, is quieter and slower, but equally burdened. Arbor goes home to a crack-addicted brother and no father; Swifty is bullied daily. Neither can find support anywhere: family, school and the government have failed them before they can even shave.
“All they have is each other, and their own innate talents. Swifty’s passion is horses, and Arbor has a knack for making money. Both of these interests lead them to a local scrap dealer, Kitten (Sean Gilder, excellent), who sees opportunity in the trusting boys.
“The movie is so good that even the small flaws become part of the texture. These young men, and their friendship, will break your heart.”- Elizabeth Weitzman, New York Daily News 

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