LIke a modern day version of Mark Twain’s, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Two boys, the best of friends, find themselves making a living collecting for a selfish scrap metal owner. Based on the life of two real boys while filming The Arbor, screenwriter and director Clio Barnard introduce the lives of Arbor and Swifty in The Selfish Giant. Two young teenage boys whose lives are filled with poverty and abuse. Looking out for one another, a school bully threatens Swifty, until Arbor comes to the rescue and both are expelled from school. With no school to attend Arbor finds a solution to make some money with Swifty who discovers a loving bond he’s never had at home.
Set in England, UK, Arbor, played by Conner Chapman and Swifty, played by Shaun Thomas, work for Kitten, owner of the town’s scrap metal yard. Always looking to make a profit and undermine others, Kitten, played by Sean Gilder, hire the boys to look for scrap metal throughout the town using a horse pulled cart. Swifty discovers has gift with horses and cares for the animal. Making good money, Arbor notices Kitten favors Swifty over him causing to lash out against them both and neglect Swifty’s new found affection, After being caught stealing from the yard, Kitten demands payment that forces Arbor to find scrap metal in near the power line fields. Swifty remaining loyal to Arbor, goes out to find Arbor attempting to steal high power cables stored underground.
After watching this film, was surprise how the characters portrayed were not what they seemed, I found this film very captivating and though the language was harsh to hear at times, the storyline is rich with friendship and loyalty. The film offers a glimpse of what boys who have no moral direction often forget the thing in life that are most precious. The bond of friendship brings reward to those who cherish it. A great performance from Sean Gilder whose portrayal of scrap yard owner reminded me of Scrooge and Jean Valjean rolled into one. High marks for child actor Connor Chapman and Shaun Thomas whose view of reality can be as simple as a child, This movie has harsh language and graphic moments and give it 9 out of 10. The Selfish Giant is currently out and available on DVD and is produced by BFI Fund, Film4 and Moonspun Films. Distributed by Sundance Selects.
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