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Mark Jenkin
UK 2019 / 88’
Alva Fire Will Come

Jenkin’s ostentatiously old-school debut, shot on 16 mm film, was one of the great discoveries at the last Berlinale. There is nothing anachronistic about his vintage style, which involves black-and-white film, grain and scratches exposed during the manual processing and abrupt edits inspired by the Soviet school. He proves that tradition can be inspiring and alive. The subject here is gentrification, capitalism, the tourist tsunami and class conflicts. The film is set in the Cornish countryside, in a fishing village in the process of being transformed into a seaside resort. The Ward brothers are forced to sell their house to Londoners, who convert it into a holiday cottage, decorating the walls with ropes, nets and other accessories symbolizing "tradition" and "authenticity," i.e., everything that the influx of tourists will complete destroy. The economic, social and cultural deterioration occurring among the local fishermen gives rise to frustration, which leads to an open war with the arrogant, wealthy visitors. The conflict escalates as the younger Ward brother starts flirting with the Londoners’ daughter, Miss Leigh. It’s hard to resist the impression that it was not by chance that Jenkin chose names for his characters that evoke cinematic history—even in details like these, the director is on the side of tradition. 

Małgorzata Sadowska

Mark Jenkin

Mark Jenkin is a director and editor who makes experimental short films, documentaries and features. He teaches at Falmouth University. In 2012, he formulated the Silent Landscape Dancing Grain 13 Film Manifesto, which praises the use of celluloid. He lives in Cornwall, which is a constant motif in his films.

Selected filmography

2001 Golden Burn

2003 The Man Who Needed a Traffic Light (short)

2004 The Rabbit 

2007 The Midnight Drives

2011 Happy Christmas

2019 Przynęta / Bait

Cast & Crew

director Mark Jenkin
screenplay Mark Jenkin
cinematography Mark Jenkin
editing Mark Jenkin
music Mark Jenkin
cast Edward Rowe, Simon Sheperd, Mary Woodvine, Giles King, Isaac Woodvine
producer Kate Byers, Linn Waite
production Early Day Films
sales The Festival Agency
language English
colouration b&w