Film Review: Bait

For thousands of years coastal dwellers have relied on fishing to put food on the table and earn a living. Whilst many traditional fishermen have seen their livelihoods destroyed by commercial trawlers, those remaining have practically been wiped out by tough economic conditions and a competitive global marketplace. Fishing villages, if they’re lucky, have sometimes managed to re-invent themselves as tourist destinations. Bait, the new film from Mark Jenkin, looks at what happens when new and old collide.

Martin (Edward Rowe) is a fisherman without a boat. His brother (Giles King) has refurbished their father’s vessel to take tourists out on short cruises. This has soured their relationship. Their childhood home is now owned by incomers who arrive from London every spring and rent apartments to holidaymakers. Whilst Martin struggles to save enough money to buy a boat tension builds between locals and tourists within the small community.

Shot on 16mm black and white film, Bait is a gritty Cornish noir which tackles an increasing pressing issue for rural communities. Whilst these towns and villages might need tourism to survive, it’s not necessarily the denizens who benefit. It’s beautifully shot and edited. Adding an element of danger into the mix. Bait is a breath of fresh air. A British drama made in a unique and innovative way.

Bait is out in cinemas from 30 August.

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