The Watchman

The Watchman


Reviewed by: Amber Wilkinson

Edward Brooke-Hitching, whose film The Really Terrible Orchestra scooped the Scottish short documentary award at EIFF 2006, has turned his attention to a much more serious subject this year – suicides at Beachy Head.

Rather than just talking about the fact that each year 38 people pitch themselves off the top of this beauty spot, however, Brooke-Hitching has found a human angle which gives his film much more of an emotional impact.

Keith Lane is The Watchman of the film’s title. A man who, after losing his wife to the deadly draw of the cliffs decided to patrol them twice a day and try to talk down other would-be jumpers. This is truly what might be termed a magnificent obsession and Brooke-Hitching explores it with sensitivity. He lets Keith talk about his experiences and intercuts this footage with shots of the cliffs, capturing both their beauty and their immensity well. A careful study of one man’s ‘mission’ and the sort of documentary that restores your faith in humanity.

Reviewed on: 22 Aug 2007
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One man's 'mission' at Beachy head. Showing as part of Document Shorts at EIFF 2007.

Director: Edward Brooke-Hitching

Writer: Edward Brooke-Hitching

Year: 2007

Runtime: 6 minutes

Country: UK


EIFF 2007

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