The Selfish Giant

91 mins
8.4 / 10 (1953)


After being excluded from school, 13-year-old Arbor and his best mate Swifty begin collecting scrap metal for Kitten, a local Bradford dealer, using a horse and cart. But when Arbor begins to emulate the shady Kitten by becoming increasingly greedy and exploitative, tensions start to build.

MUBI's take

Though self-consciously structured as if a fairy tale or fable, Clio Barnard’s follow-up to the docudrama The Arbor continues the tradition of Britain’s kitchen sink socio-realism. Both devastating and compassionate, The Selfish Giant is a profound film on friendship and the class system.

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