Cornwall During Clusterfuck: Interview with 'Bait' director Mark Jenkin

by Georgina Allan

The more you shout, rant and rage, the more you expose the contradictions of your existence.”
A photograph of 'Bait' director Mark Jenkin. He is sat on a clifftop holding an old analogue film camera. (Photo: Callum Mitchell)
'Bait' director Mark Jenkin. (Photo: Callum Mitchell)

It’s been a wild couple of years for Mark Jenkin. His BAFTA award-winning film Bait premiered in Berlin in February 2019. At the time, nobody could have predicted the film would go on to achieve such universal acclaim and box office success.

On the surface, Bait is a film about two Cornish fishermen who are trying to keep their traditional way of life alive in a place that's being rebranded as a tourist destination. But as Mark himself says: “really, it's not about that.” Bait has sparked conversations about tourism, Brexit, and gentrification.

Mark says he’s realised through audiences what the film represents; “it’s a story about entitlement and the tension that rises when people feel they're entitled to something that conflicts with people who think they're entitled to something different, speci