Mark Jenkin’s Cornish fishing tale ‘Bait’ is a masterclass in cinematic art and social commentary. Providing us with an hypnotic and salty soap opera. While mixing this with a unique, captivating and utterly beautiful piece of cinema. The grain of its 16mm black and white footage interfacing with modern Cornwall. As tradition and change combine with explosive results.
Martin Ward (Edward Rowe) plays a fisherman who scrapes together a living within a rapidly changing village. The community he once served now a playground for summer tourists and holiday makers. While the fishermen who fed the community of his childhood slowly vanish through industrial decline.
These social and industrial changes have led Martin’s brother (Giles King) to use the family fishing boat to ferry tourists around the coast. While many of the friends Martin once had have replaced riding the waves, with driving taxi’s to make ends-meet.
Meanwhile Martin’s childhood cottage has been sold to a family from London. Becoming a mere holiday venue, while its interior is ‘modernised’ to suit city tastes. The tension between Martin and the new home owners, Sandra and Tim Leigh (Mary Woodvine and Simon Shepherd) and their children (Georgia Ellery and Jowan Jacobs). Not only a clash between tradition, community and home, but also, a reflection of economic change.