Riddled with crime, unemployment and anti-social behaviour, Jaywick Sands in Essex is officially the most deprived place in the UK. In a new beautifully shot documentary entitled Jaywick Escapes, Karen Guthrie and Nina Pope follow a handful of residents who knowingly moved to Jaywick and used this slice of forgotten Britain to start a new life for themselves. But are they all successful in escaping their pasts?
Once it was a booming seaside town, a preferred holiday destination for many Londoners looking to escape the big smoke for a fun family weekend away. Now it has been labeled as one of Britain’s worst places to live.
However, some people still use it as a place to escape, although it might be for completely different reasons than 30 years ago. They move to Jaywick to contemplate past mistakes, to hatch new plans, to run from the past. In Nina Pope and Karen Guthrie’s third project together, the directors manage to capture the true essence of the town and allow us to witness life on the sea front through the eyes of some of Jaywick’s most interesting residents.
The 50 minute long film does not shy away from harsh subjects such as poverty, social exclusion and drugs abuse but manages to present them to the audience in an empathetic way; with respect and understanding, and all the way through interwoven with beautifully shot imagery of an almost mysteriously detached town. It is a film that no doubt will be taken out of Britain’s archives again and again for many years to come.
Jaywick Escapes will be premiering at Sheffield Doc/Fest 2012 with screenings on 13 June (12pm) and 14 June (5pm) at the Showroom cinema. Shortly afterwards the London premiere will be at the East End Film Festival on July the 5th, 8.15 at the Genesis cinema. For more screenings check out the DocGeeks documentary calendar.