Join us for the UK premiere of this visually gorgeous black & white artists’ film documenting the tenacious traditionalism of the remote Dutch fishing community of Urk. Retired local fisherman, lifeboat coxswain and Eyemouth Harbourmaster Johnny Johnston MBE will introduce the screening with some memories of a lifetime's work on the sea.
“Episode of the Sea” is the outcome of a two-year collaboration by the directors with the fishing community of Urk, a former island in the Netherlands. The film documents the material world of contemporary North Sea fishery, and the fishermen’s struggle with a changed public perception, fluctuating regulations, and excessive global competition, while parallels are drawn between fishing and filming.
In the previous century, the Dutch closed off and drained their inland sea to reclaim new arable land. The island of Urk, situated in mid-sea, suddenly found itself embraced by land. Its inhabitants were expected to switch from fishing to farming, but the fishermen managed to continue their trade. They found new fishing grounds, far out in the North Sea.
Despite being part of the mainland for decades, the fishing village is still notoriously insular and its inhabitants continue to speak their own tongue. With a residency and numerous visits to Urk, the directors gradually gained the Urkers’ trust. From 2011 to 2013, they documented the sites and work of fishing and filmed a dozen of staged scenes, performed by members of the fishing community themselves in their local dialect. Meanwhile they kept a log of their encounters and experiences in situ. Episode of the Sea brings these diverse materials together.
Rendered in black-and-white to recite neo-realist drama and early documentary styles, the scenes evoke a way of life that has been passed on by ancestors, yet on the verge of obsolescence.
Suggested cert. 12A
Running time: 1h45m approx (including guest speaker, film and Q&A)
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The Maltings in association with Berwick Visual Arts invites you to come and experience the thrill of exploration and discovery as you broaden your cinematic horizons. ASPECT is a new series of alternative cinema at The Maltings, including artists’ films, documentaries, film essays, guest speakers, artist talks & Q&A, special events and more. ASPECT Series #1 features six screenings taking place at The Maltings from January > July 2015 on selected Wednesdays:
21 January (The Forgotten Space)
11 March (Smoke & Mirrors)
15 April (Episode of the Sea)
13 May (tba)
24 June (tba)
29 July (tba)
ASPECT is an Independent Cinema Office initiative funded by Arts Council England.