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Film Editorial

baitfilm.jpg Bait

Director: Mark Jenkin

Stars: Edward Rowe, Mary Woodvine, Giles King, Simon Shepherd

Writer-director Mark Jenkin’s visually audacious and timely picture chronicles the tensions between struggling locals and middle class recent arrivals as gentrification encroaches on a small Cornish fishing village. Comedian Edward Rowe is Martin, a gruff fisherman without a boat; his brother Steven (King) is using their late father’s vessel to take tourist on jaunts around the bay, much to Martin’s disgust. Also fanning the flames of Martin’s resentment are the condescending middle class urban couple Sandra and Tim (Woodvine and Shepherd) who now own the brothers’ family home and are using it partially as an Airbnb. Jenkins has treated the black and white film stock with, among other things, vitamin C powder and coffee, giving it a distressed grainy look, like an unearthed old newsreel. This coupled with the subject matter suggests a kitchen sink drama helmed by the retro-fixated Canadian oddball auteur Guy Maddin. The portrayal of middle class indifference to the plight of working class communities makes this an ideal film for the Brexit era (a radio reporter can be heard in one sequence discussing the situation), but the (presumably) deliberately stilted and simplistic dialogue renders any sociological insights trite and underdeveloped.