Horrified by the cruelty shown to children seeking asylum in Britain, the director has adapted Emily Brontë’s book which has haunted her since her teens

My family were keen campers and many a wet weekend in the 1970s was spent shivering in a tent. Sometimes, these visits would be shared with our neighbours and a convoy of bashed up, smoke-filled cars would set off from Nottingham and head for the hills. One such trip was to the Yorkshire Moors where it was decided that we would try to find Top Withens; the house said to have inspired Wuthering Heights. The children in the party didn’t embrace the genuinely challenging walk, but the odyssey was worth it and Wuthering Heights captured all our imaginations.

Remote, bleak, and somehow devastating, we were all struck by how small the house seemed. I hadn’t read the book at that point but my mum and her friend Marielaine’s enthusiasm for literature was contagious. They laughed with pleasure as they recalled the book and its spooky themes. I loved to see my parents with their friends. I loved to see them spark and delight as the drudgery of parenthood and work melted away and the joys of life bubbled through. I recall vividly being inside a sleeping bag listening to the laughter of Mum and Dad and their friends outside. That time lives on for me in a fuzzy memory of happy wildness but, as Catherine Earnshaw said: “There is no happiness.”

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