Wasp (film)

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Directed by Andrea Arnold
Written by Andrea Arnold
Starring Natalie Press
Cinematography Robbie Ryan
Edited by Nicolas Chaudeurge
Release date
Running time
26 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English

Wasp is a short film (26 minutes) written and directed by Andrea Arnold. Released in 2003, it stars Natalie Press as a struggling single mother determined not to let her four young children prove an obstacle in the pursuit of rekindling a relationship with an old ex-boyfriend Danny Dyer. Dartford (Arnold's hometown) is the setting.[1]

It is available on the Cinema 16: World Short Films and Cinema 16: European Short Films (US Special Edition) DVDs, and as a bonus feature on the Fish Tank DVD in the UK.

Plot summary[edit]

Zoe, rapidly descending a flight of stairs, baby in hand, and three other children in tow. Zoe gets into a physical altercation with the neighbour. Tensions remain high as the two women and their children shout at one another and hurl insults.

They all head home, with the children asking for chips. A man then pulls up in a car and is curious as to who the children are. Zoe tells him that they belong to a mate of hers and she is just looking after them. He asks her if she would like to go for a drink. Zoe agrees to meet him.

Zoe reveals to her children that the man's name is David and her children seem excited about this, as there is the allusion to 'David' Beckham. They return to their home and Zoe attempts to find a sitter for the children. Zoe then notices a wasp flying near one of her windows, which she opens to release it.

Zoe is accompanied by her children who ask where she is going, to which she replies that she is going to the pub. When they arrive at their destination, Zoe leaves her children outside the pub to fend for themselves. She enters the pub to look for David. She eventually catches his eye; he is playing pool. David states that since Zoe is 'one of those modern girls,' she should purchase the first round of drinks herself. A reluctant Zoe goes up to the bar and orders drinks.

Meanwhile, her children attempt to amuse themselves outside of the pub. Zoe brings them crisps and a glass of Coke. Her children are upset because Zoe did not bring them chips. She attempts to entertain them by dancing and singing. Zoe instructs her oldest child, Kelly, not to come in and get her unless it is a real emergency. That being said, she enters the pub once again to see David with whom Zoe then plays pool. In the next few shots, we witness the children amusing themselves by playing outside the pub and entertaining one another.

Meanwhile, back in the pub, Zoe and David are becoming well acquainted with one another. She seems focused upon the fact that she is having a good time and is oblivious to the needs of her children. The female patrons of the pub are exceptionally critical of her behaviour and say that she will not be laughing when she has her kids taken off her by Social Services. When Zoe checks on her children, who have been waiting outside the pub for hours, they are not pleased that Zoe wants to spend more time with David. They are bored, starved, and want to go home.

David then emerges from the pub. Zoe and David spend some time getting to know one another in David's car. They begin to kiss and the camera cuts to Zoe's baby crying. It is obvious that the children are very hungry and want to go home. Four males exit the pub, one of whom drops some chips and ribs which Kelly eagerly picks up and shares with her siblings. Things then become quite heated between David and Zoe, who indulge in their passions in David's car while Zoe's children forage for food. Matters between David and Zoe are interrupted when one of her children emits an ear piercing shriek. Zoe then extricates herself from the car when she hears her child's cry. She then witnesses a wasp crawling into her baby's mouth and pleads 'don't sting him.'

The wasp flies away and Zoe becomes enraged when she notices that there are remnants of ribs around her baby's mouth. Zoe responds by violently shaking Kelly and screams: 'I told you to look after him, didn't I?' After chastising Kelly, the family then embraces and Zoe apologises. The next shot shows the children eating in David's car and Zoe looking very troubled. David indicates to Zoe that he wants to have a chat.



Wasp was filmed entirely in Dartford, which is where Andrea Arnold is born.[2]

Awards won[edit]


  1. ^ Kent Film Office. "Kent Film Office Wasp Article". 
  2. ^ Kent Film Office. "Kent Film Office Wasp Article". 
  3. ^ "New York Times: Wasp". NY Times. Retrieved 25 May 2008. 

External links[edit]