Dark River 15

Dark River

Acclaimed director Clio Barnard (The Selfish Giant, The Arbor) returns with this emotionally charged drama about the old wounds and bitter new grievances that come to light when a woman returns to her family's Yorkshire farm.

After the death of her father, casual farm labourer Alice (Ruth Wilson) returns home to Yorkshire for the first time in 15 years to settle the tenancy of the family farm. Her grieving brother Joe (Mark Stanley) has spent years looking after their father (Sean Bean) and trying to keep it from going under: Alice's plans ignite a bitter dispute between them. Battling to regain control, Alice must confront traumatic memories to find a way to restore the farm and her relationship with her brother before both are irrevocably lost.

A haunting, dark folk tale with commanding performances (especially from Wilson as the deeply damaged but gutsy Alice), Dark River is the latest in a wave of great social-realist dramas set in the British countryside (God's Own Country, The Levelling) that have gone down a treat in Bristol.