From the Sea to the Land Beyond

Penny Woolcock | 2012 | ★★★★
Composed from several decades’ worth of archival documentary footage, Woolcock’s beautifully crafted and oft joyous but ultimately rather sobering film explores the changing face of Britain’s abundant coastlines, capturing the lives of its people at work and at play throughout the 20th century. Arranged roughly chronologically, we see black & white give way to colour, silence to sound, people to machines, and joy to elegy, whilst waistlines increase and fashions change, against a backdrop of industrial decline and vanishing seaside resorts. Even the “bloody weather” gets worse. (For those prone to depression, I'd recommend watching just the delightful, joyful first two-thirds.)