The Selfish Giant

Synopsis: An official selection at the Cannes Film Festival, The Selfish Giant is a contemporary fable about 13 year old Arbor (Conner Chapman) and his best friend Swifty (Shaun Thomas). Excluded from school and outsiders in their own neighborhood, the two boys meet Kitten (Sean Gilder), a local scrap dealer. Wandering their town with just a horse and a cart, they begin collecting scrap metal for him. Swifty has a natural gift with horses while Arbor emulates Kitten - keen to impress him and make some money. However, Kitten favors Swifty, leaving Arbor feeling hurt and excluded, driving a wedge between the boys. As Arbor becomes increasingly greedy and exploitative, tensions build, leading to a tragic event that transforms them all.
Genre: Drama
Director(s): Clio Barnard
Production: Sundance Selects
  12 wins & 18 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
91 min

Can't stand you!


- Chill out.

It's me.

- Calm down, Arbor.

- Fucking get off!

- Just chill.


- Get off!

Get off!

- Arbor, it's me.

It's Swifty.

- Chill out.

You're off your head, you,

aren't you?

Fucking mad head, you.

Gonna come out?

- Want some?

- Yeah.


- Friends.

- Friends.

- What are them torches

down there?

- Is that railway

people or pol-

- Shit. Get down.

Get down.

What are they doing?

- F*ck knows.

Should I go have a look?

- No, wait here.

I want to see what

they're doing.

- Come on, we'll go look.

- Go on, then.

Oh, shit.

- Yeah.

I'm almost there, yeah.




Get some of your boys

down here now, yeah?

- Oy! F*ck off!

- Hey!


- Go, go, go!

- You thieving little bastards!

- Let us in!

- Oh, he's coming now.

He's got a big ax.

- We're not open yet!

Who the f*ck are you?

What do you want?

Is that my-

What the f*ck are you doing

with my fucking horse?

- What's that?

Where'd you get that?

- It's cable.

We found it.

- Oh, yeah?

Get off my fucking horse!

Take it inside.

- Would you put the ax down?

What the hell's going on?

- Found these two at the gate

with Tommy.

- We lent him,

went for a ride for a laugh.

Didn't know he were your horse.

He were tethered up

in that field.

We got you some cable, though,

don't we?

- Right, bring it in here.

- What?

- It's all right.

- Away, lad.

- Come on. Simba!

Come on!

Every twat knows,

you've got to strip it

before I can take it

'cause the number on casing.

See that?

Bright wire.

- You burn it off

if it's marked.

- What do you mean "marked"?

- That's what I mean, marked.

Look at yous.

All over you.


- How did we get that?

- SmartWater.

Don't ever come back here

with that shite on you.



Go on.

- We'll strip it next time.

Do it proper.

Burn it off.

- There won't be a next time.

Now f*ck off.

- You lot, up.

Fucking hell.

Have one

of your little freak-outs

last night, spazzy boy?

- F*ck off, you crackhead.

Tell you what.

This is the first night

I've not seen

you and your boyfriend

fucking spooning.

Why is this smelly pikey

on my floor, anyway?

What are you doing?

- F*ck off, you druggy bastard.

- "F*ck off,

you druggy bastard"?

How about you f*ck off,

you pikey bastard?

- Martin!

- Get him a horse and cart...

- Leave him alone!

- And get him out the house.

Pikey scruff.

- Shut up!

Just ignore him Swifty, love.

You're always welcome here.

- I don't want a skanky Swift

in my house.

- Will you shut up?

It's not your house!

- I can smell him!

I can fucking smell him.

Move him.

- Will you get up?

We got an appointment

at clinic.

And no messing me about

this time.

You're going.

You two, can you get up, please?

Not again.

Truancy fine.

Sorry, Mum.

- I can't see no stains.

- Remember when Kitten put

that torch on us?

We could see it.

- What are you doing?

- Nowt.

- Since when did you put

your own clothes in wash?

- Don't know, Mum.

- Today.

- I earned you some money

for that fine.

- Where'd you get that?

- Just said I earned it.

- Tell me where you got it from!

I worked my arse off,

yeah, for this.

For you, yeah?

And you don't even accept it!

You ungrateful bastard!

- I'm not ungrateful.

- F*ck off!

- Arbor, I'm just saying.

- F*ck off!

F*ck's sake!

- I just want you to go-

- F*ck's sake!

- If you'd go to school

in first place-

- Don't want to!

- All right, all right!

Have you taken your tablet?

- Yeah, I fucking have!

- Has he?

Oh, not again.


Get in here!

- What?

Rate this script:(0.00 / 0 votes)

Clio Barnard

Clio Barnard is a British director of documentary and feature films. She won widespread critical acclaim and multiple awards for her debut, The Arbor, an experimental documentary about Bradford playwright Andrea Dunbar. In 2013 she was hailed as a significant new voice in British cinema for her film The Selfish Giant, which premiered in the Director's Fortnight section of the Cannes film festival. more…

All Clio Barnard scripts | Clio Barnard Scripts

FAVORITE (0 fans)

Submitted on August 05, 2018

Discuss this script with the community:



    Translate and read this script in other languages:

    Select another language:

    • - Select -
    • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
    • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
    • Español (Spanish)
    • Esperanto (Esperanto)
    • 日本語 (Japanese)
    • Português (Portuguese)
    • Deutsch (German)
    • العربية (Arabic)
    • Français (French)
    • Русский (Russian)
    • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
    • 한국어 (Korean)
    • עברית (Hebrew)
    • Gaeilge (Irish)
    • Українська (Ukrainian)
    • اردو (Urdu)
    • Magyar (Hungarian)
    • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
    • Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Italiano (Italian)
    • தமிழ் (Tamil)
    • Türkçe (Turkish)
    • తెలుగు (Telugu)
    • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
    • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
    • Čeština (Czech)
    • Polski (Polish)
    • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Românește (Romanian)
    • Nederlands (Dutch)
    • Ελληνικά (Greek)
    • Latinum (Latin)
    • Svenska (Swedish)
    • Dansk (Danish)
    • Suomi (Finnish)
    • فارسی (Persian)
    • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
    • հայերեն (Armenian)
    • Norsk (Norwegian)
    • English (English)


    Use the citation below to add this screenplay to your bibliography:


    "The Selfish Giant" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 16 Jan. 2021. <>.

    We need you!

    Help us build the largest writers community and scripts collection on the web!

    Watch the movie trailer

    The Selfish Giant

    The Marketplace:

    Sell your Script !

    Get listed in the most prominent screenplays collection on the web!

    The Studio:

    ScreenWriting Tool

    Write your screenplay and focus on the story with many helpful features.

    Thanks for your vote! We truly appreciate your support.