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Director Mark Jenkin tells a tale of gentrification of Cornwall in grainy 16mm black and white that‘s jumpy and scratched. Martin, a fisherman without a boat, has to renovate the house of newly arrived Londoners, but he has his own plans.


Everything about BAIT seems old. It was shot on grainy 16 mm black and white film that skips and scratches in a way that can‘t be digitally simulated. The houses and people of the coastal town of Cornwall look like people who have lived off of seafaring and fishing for a long time, and the weird pauses between sentences might be due to a kind of editing or acting style long considered to be unfashionable. The village seems like it‘s from a different era or reality.

On the other hand, the old fisherman house's new owner has a daughter with pants that are fashionably tight and the parents are dedicated to renovating the house with some maritime charm. The equipment Martin, a fisherman without a boat, has to use is rusty and often cobbled together. But he does it. He'll be damned if he has to cruise along with drunk bachelor parties like his brother. Martin is and remains a proud fisherman. He will soon have enough money for his boat, and he will not put up with anything till then. The intruders from London will come to understand that. Martin stares at the house.

The image shakes and shortly flickers. Something breaks and shows a fragment of a tragedy that will come or has already occurred. The image stabilizes.

Martin stares at the house... BAIT is an art film showing social realities. Gentrification is a reality, just like the old residents‘ aversion to giving up their lives just like that. Instead of having the characters talk a lot and explain, Mark Jenkin has the fishermen and the migrating Londons briefly encounter each other and then continue on with their plans. You have to get used to the fragmented visual language and narrative style, but then it opens up layers that conventional methods wouldn‘t be able to.

Christian Klose

Translation: Elinor Lewy


Original title: Bait
Großbritannien 2019, 89 min
Language: English
Genre: Drama
Director: Mark Jenkin
Author: Mark Jenkin
DOP: Mark Jenkin
Distributor: Arsenal Institut
Cast: Mary Woodvine, Edward Rowe, Simon Shepherd, Giles Kino
Release: 24.10.2019




  • OV Original version
  • OmU Original with German subtitles
  • OmeU Original with English subtitles

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