A place is in the blood. I feel it in my waters. This place I couldn’t run away from fast enough. And now, after one day, it’s caught up with me again, conquered me again, stronger and tastier than a single malt.
Another England is a series of 4 films from 2013, made by Michael Smith and Maxy Neil Bianco to “explore different aspects of the complexity of belonging.” Each film captures an aspect of their home town of Hartlepool, depicting the place and its people honestly and without judgement, letting their authentic voices come through.
The sustained mood throughout is elegiac, as the familiar falls away to be replaced by something else, something that nobody asked for and will probably not do them any good. It could be anywhere, it could be my own home town up north, which I return to once a year or so, seeing how much has changed but also how much still remains resistant to any kind of change. More than the buildings and the places, it’s the people and their perspective on the world that remains resolute. All they want is to get by, do what they feel that have to do, and not be told how to to live by others who don’t understand them, and don’t want to. The dubious and unconvincing simulacra of the mass media is kept in check by unapologetic realism like this, and we need more of it.