Seaside Special (2022)

November 6th, 2023
Author: Meredith Taylor

Dir: Jens Meurer | Germany Doc

A warm and well-balanced view of Brexit Britain is expressed by the people of Cromer, Norfolk in this delightful documentary made by a German, no less!

Famous for its seafood, especially crabs – and wonderful sandy beaches Cromer is also home to a summer end-of-the-pier show that runs for three months – to packed audiences – twice a day! And this gives Jens Meurer – whose in-laws are English – the perfect setting for a sunny expose of the most divisive political and social event in our recent island history. Meurer offers a very human story seen by the people, and for the people. Politicians or local councillors are thankfully nowhere to be seen.

Shot on 16mm and intended for big screen viewing in a collective atmosphere Seaside Special turns out to be nostalgic and surprisingly entertaining in showing English life at its best through a variety of idiosyncratic Brits who are putting their best foot forward to make both the show (and Brexit) a success in spite of their conflicting views: ‘Hoping for the best but planning for the worst’, as Boris Johnson famously once said.

It may be modest in its provincial setting but the summer variety show is no amateur dramatic affair; it certainly punches above its weight and the quality acts look and feel really professional. And what also makes this and the show so endearing is the human angle. Real people with honest, unpredictable and often refreshing views imaginatively captured in Meurer’s lens. @MeredithTaylor

Seaside Special is in UK and Irish cinemas on 10 November 2023

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