Added to my films
After spending two years conducting audio interviews with Dunbar's family, friends, and neighbors, Barnard filmed actors lip-synching the interviews, flawlessly interpreting every breath, tick, and nuance. Barnard's film focuses in particular on the playwright's troubled relationship with her daughter Lorraine. Dunbar died tragically in 1990 at age 29; Barnard connects with Lorraine—now age 29 herself—to reintroduce her to her mother's plays and private letters, prompting her to reflect on the parallels between their lives. Interwoven with these interviews are staged scenes of Dunbar's play filmed on the street where she lived. Lorraine's story is central to The Arbor. Her two-year-old son died from ingesting the heroin substitute methadone in 2004 and Lorraine was sent to prison for manslaughter. Lorraine was a prostitute from the age of 17.