This screening was followed by a director Q&A hosted by Mandy Chang, current Commissioning Editor of Storyville.

The remarkable true story of Andrea Dunbar and her daughter Lorraine. Andrea was ‘a genius straight from the slums’ who wrote unflinchingly about her tough upbringing in plays like Rita, Sue and Bob Too.


Andrea died at just 29, and The Arbor revisits the notorious Buttershaw Estate to see how it has changed in the two decades since Dunbar’s death. Also aged 29, Andrea’s daughter is now a recovering addict in prison.

Over lip-synched audio interviews with family and residents, the film follows Lorraine’s personal journey as she reflects on her own life and begins to understand the struggles her mother faced.

“We get to see, over three generations, the scarring caused by poverty, drugs and abandonment – and the struggle to survive, too. Each time I watch the film I tell myself that fiction, even Dunbar’s, can’t often do this, but The Arbor does.”

Say What Happened by Nick Fraser (Faber & Faber) Part of the series Say What Happened – Nick Fraser selects, a series of films curated by former Storyville editor and BAFTA award winner to coincide with the launch of his new book.