Australian western set on the Northern Territory frontier in the 1920s, where justice itself is put on trial when an aged Aboriginal farmhand shoots a white man in self-defense and goes on the run as a posse gathers to hunt him down.
Luka Magdeline Cole,
In Brooklyn, New York, Kyra (Michelle Pfeiffer) loses her job and struggles to survive on her ailing mother's income. As the weeks and months go on, her problems worsen. This leads her on a risky and enigmatic path that threatens her life.
A heinous crime tests the complex relationship between a tenacious personal assistant and her Hollywood starlet boss. As the assistant unravels the mystery, she must confront her own understanding of friendship, truth and celebrity.
After receiving news of her father's death, Alice, a young travelling sheep-shearer, tentatively decides to return to the dilapidated family house of her childhood, in muddy North Yorkshire. Surprisingly, it's been already fifteen years since Alice left behind an ailing dad and her older brother, Joe, to wander about from farm to farm; however, this cold and heavy homecoming will be Alice's last chance to reclaim the land she believes was once promised to her. But, now, on one hand, there's Joe's resentment paired with a rancorous rivalry between siblings--while, on the other hand--fleeting mournful shadows of a troubled past permeate the walls of an imperfect prize. What will it take to keep the haunting memories at bay?Written by
We should cut that field.
I don't cut for silage. I leave it for hay.
They're all skin and bone.
Come here. I wanna show you summat.
It's shepherd's needle. You don't see it very often. Not round here, anyway. When it comes through its seed pods, they look like a needle. When you cut it for silage, all you end up doing is... killing everything that's under it. In one acre of hay meadow... you've got 400 million insects. 600 million mites. Two million spiders. Burnet ...
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An Acre of Land
Traditional British song
Adapted Harry Escott
Sung by P.J. Harvey See more »
Following the death of her father (Sean Bean), Alice (Ruth Wilson) returns to the farm she was brought up on to claim her right to the tenancy. Her brother Joe (Mark Stanley) has been looking after the farm, along with their dad, and disputes her claim and wants the farm for himself. Through occasional flashbacks we learn of Alice's abuse at the hands of her father. Whilst it, thankfully, doesn't go into detail we're shown enough to understand Alice's 15-year absence from the farm and her awkward relationship with her brother as she attempts to repair the damage between them.
Dark River is a terrific showcase for Ruth Wilson and Mark Stanley. Both look completely at home on a farm, whether it's sheering sheep or fixing gates, and their clashes over what's best for their land leads to some devastating consequences. Wilson produces a quite heart-breaking performance and skilfully conveys Alice's desire to prove herself and her need for some kind of closure from the traumatic events of her past.
Holding his own against Wilson, Mark Stanley gives an excellent performance as Joe. His conflicted emotions at the return of his sister and the future of the farm make for intriguing viewing and in one uncomfortable scene his drunken rage is one of the most frightening rampages I've seen for a long time.
Although he hardly has any dialogue or screen-time, Sean Bean's weathered face and gruff exterior create a thoroughly believable character, and his Northern presence is felt throughout the film and within the walls of the dilapidated farmhouse.
The other leading character in Dark River is the unforgiving Yorkshire countryside. Beautifully filmed with some exquisite shots of green fields, hills and rolling landscapes director, Clio Barnard, makes full use of the surroundings and accompanying weather.
Dark River is home to exceptional performances and a gritty, albeit slightly grim, Northern drama. Well worth a watch.
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