From the Sea to the Land Beyond: Britain's Coast on Film

Radio Times
Review by:
Jack Seale

None of BBC4's many programmes made from archive film has been more evocative than this. It's a 70-minute cinematic meditation on British coastal life, drawing on more than 100 years of British Film Institute stock, and moving from the 1900s to the 80s.

Director Penny Woolcock's masterstroke is to ditch commentary and captions completely and replace them with a mostly instrumental soundtrack by Sussex band British Sea Power, whose lo-fi epics knit perfectly with the theme: the ocean provides so much of our island's work and play, but then watches impassively as social changes come and go. It's utterly mesmeric and unaccountably moving.

About this programme

Documentary exploring the role of Britain's coastline in people's lives, from holidays at the seaside to wartime. Penny Woolcock's film blends archive clips with a soundtrack created by Brighton band British Sea Power.

Cast and crew


British Sea Power


Penny Woolcock
Series Editor
Nick Fraser