My dark-skinned brother | Movie Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

My dark-skinned brother 

Andrea Arnold delivers a steamy, class-conscious rewrite of Wuthering Heights

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Wuthering Heights: Not quite the Bronte adaptation you would expect.

Wuthering Heights: Not quite the Bronte adaptation you would expect.

British director Andrea Arnold, whose dramas Red Road (2006) and Fish Tank (2009) suggest a penchant for gritty social realism, tries her hand at the Emily Bronte classic, adhering to the basic plot but using sexuality and racial discrimination to heighten Bronte's theme of class injustice. Heathcliff, the impoverished gypsy boy adopted by a farming family in the moorlands of northern England, has been radically reinvented as Afro-Caribbean, and as he grows into adulthood, his love for the daughter, Catherine, becomes a boldly romanticized exploration of physical desire in the face of extreme oppression. In a key scene, as Heathcliff's back drips with blood after a lashing, Catherine dutifully licks him clean. With Solomon Glave, Shannon Beer, and Lee Shaw.

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