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The Arbor (Not Rated)

Wildly successful and dead by age 29, British playwright Andrea Dunbar (1961-1990) wrote the screenplay for "Rita, Sue and Bob Too!" based on her own hardscrabble life. Roger Ebert, writing about the film in 1987: "An angry comedy... If it were an American film, it would be an R-rated sex romp without a brain in its head, a soft-core baby-sitter saga... But this is a movie about two tough, deprived girls... and an irresponsible feather-brained adult who thinks he's taking advantage of them, when in fact they're a whole lot more worldly and cynical than he is." "The Arbor" revisits this material through a innovative technique known as verbatim theater: actors lip-synching documentary recordings of the people they're playing. Dunbar's daughters update a family saga of alcoholism, drugs, prostitution, sexual abuse and violence. Rarely has the cyclical nature of poverty been so brilliantly and believably dramatized.