Young director Mark Jenkin’s mesmerising debut feature chronicles the struggles of coastal life in an ailing Cornish community.
Martin (Edward Rowe) is a fisherman without a boat. While he struggles to save enough money to buy one, his brother has already refurbished their father’s vessel for tourist cruises. Their childhood home is owned by incomers who rent it to holidaymakers. Tensions build between family, locals and tourists.
Infused with earthy emotion and brittle black humour, Bait is bracingly experimental as it explores the fabric of a tiny, isolated fishing village. It is urgent and unpredictable, resolutely offbeat, but bold, moving and darkly involving. The grainy black-and-white 16mm gives the film an authentic early film makers feel. It stretches, scratches, crackles and glitters, like a weathered buffeted dinghy hugging the dockside.
A future social realist classic, its marriage of regional concerns with universal ideals makes it one of the best British films released both this year and in the recent past. (Research Chris Coetsee) It is deliberately shot entirely on 16mm film stock on an old wind-up camera, often hand-held and developed for the screen in Jenkin’s makeshift ‘darkrooms’ with tea and improvised chemicals! Don’t come for this alone… Don’t miss for all the other reasons.