Bait (2019) and the Rising Tide of Gentrification

Bait is Mark Jenkin’s labour of love and it really shows. This is a meticulously crafted, intense, gripping and dynamic drama, using tropes of soap opera and experimental film, combined into a mesmerising and definitive piece of work. In this age of gentrification and a booming tourism industry, Jenkin fights back by paying homage to the local working class communities, specifically the fishing traditions of Cornwall, and their survival in the midst of city-dwelling holidaymakers who disrupt the peace. Both content and form are heavily stylistic, yet they manage to maintain their effectiveness in terms of storytelling and tone. There’s something uncomfortably disconnected about the editing, post-recorded sound and manipulative point of view shots, which for me beautifully emphasises the broken communication between the two different worlds and their tumultuous coexistence. We need more films like this, more innovative, resourceful, introspective, personal, challenging and unconventional. Mark Jenkin is a master of his craft and I expect many more amazing things from him in the future.