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Dir. Mark Jenkin | UK 2019 | 89 mins |15
Stunningly shot on a vintage 16mm camera using monochrome Kodak stock, Mark Jenkin’s remarkable new film is a timely and funny, yet poignant tale that gets right to the heart of a Cornish community facing an unwelcome change.
The picture-postcard idyll of the Cornwall fishing village is misleading. While fishing used to be a way of supporting oneself, wealthy London tourists have now descended and are displacing the locals, threatening local livelihoods. The relationship between brothers Steven and Martin is also strained. Martin is a fisherman without a boat, since Steven started using it for far more lucrative tours for all the Airbnb’s and day-trippers. They’ve sold the family cottage and now it seems that the final battle to be fought is that with the new owners over the parking space next to the sea. With the summer season looming simmering tensions between the locals and newcomers are approaching boiling point, and not just because of a wheel clamp...
This cultural clash is represented in the film’s bold look. Shot with a Bolex camera in black-and-white 16mm and hand-processed by Jenkin, the resulting experimental tone and homemade effects have a genuine sense of depth and history. Original and stylistically bold, Bait expertly balances modern concerns with nostalgia and is one of the most intriguing, hypnotically strange and singular British films in years.