Directed by : Mark Kidel

The writer Martin Amis is known for acerbic and penetrating novels that dissect the contemporary world.  In this image-rich film, directed by award-winning filmmaker Mark Kidel, Amis explores his sense of what it is to be English.  

Amis describes a country haunted by the loss of colonial empire and international influence: a culture beset with a kind of post-traumatic stress that results from accelerated decline.

With the imaginative help of treasures from the BFI’s National Archive, who have coproduced the film, archive from the BBC, vintage commercials and comedy sketches,  as well as specially shot footage, the film explores a number of interlocking themes that Amis identifies as being central to his homeland’s predicament: the continuing appeal of royalty, perennial obsessions with class, what Amis describes as the country’s “problem with pleasure”, the violence of football hooligans and the sportsmanship of the cricket field, an unique and indigenous form of masochism that is mirrored in the appalling weather and self-punishing abuse of alcohol, as well as a complicated relationship with sexuality.

Perhaps not surprisingly, for a writer who does fall easily into categories of Right and Left, Amis is patriotic – quietly rather than vociferously, but with a pride that goes along with the insularity which clearly defines much of the English national psyche.

Martin Amis’s reflections are woven together with a subtle and at times humourous collage of archive images, a counterpoint that gives this essay on Englishness a depth and irony that is, in its own way, true to the nation’s character.

fiche technique

Author : Mark Kidel

Collection : L'Europe des écrivain

Manager of production : Mathieu Cabanes

Editing : Cyril Letellier

Producer : Les Films d'Ici - Laura Briand

Partners : Arte

Broadcaster : Arte

ISAN : 0000-0003-2F3A-0000-Q-0000-0000-X


Video publisher : Arte Distribution

Distributeur : Arte Vidéo

From the same Director


In the same Collection


The same year