LOCATION: Hartlepool & its environs
“What does it mean to belong to somewhere?”
Another England is a cycle of films by Maxy Neil Bianco and Michael Smith exploring a town on the edges of England, between land and sea. Hartlepool becomes a mythic place where mysterious coals wash up on the shores, misfits find spiritual connections in the edgeland wildlife among pylons and petrochemical works, herring gulls become angels, and boys ride horses through the surf. As our hyper-local guide, Bianco journeys deep into intimate moments that feel a privilege to watch, rather than voyeuristic or exploitative. Smith, a prodigal son returned after years of self-exile in London, views his hometown with fresh eyes, sharing our sense of wonder, while grappling with his sense of belonging.
These films are an essential portrait of a dying world caught in painstaking close-up. Watch them before it disappears.
If you enjoy these films, come and see Bianco and Smith’s latest work Stranger on the Shore: Three Films About the Weirdness of the English Seaside at The Social in London on 31st August, with Unofficial Britain’s editor Gareth E Rees reading a coastal story in support, along with Faber author Richard Milward and music by Andrew Weatherall and Nina Walsh.
Another England 1: Old Town
Another England 2: Granada
Another England 3: Black Beach
Another England 4: Blue Lagoon
ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS
Maxy Neil Bianco is a film-maker who lives and works in Hartlepool. His previous films include Can House and a commission for Channel 4’s Random Acts.
Michael Smith is a novelist (Faber), broadcaster (The Culture Show) and filmmaker.