Coaley Peak (A Fragment), 2021
6 minutes 19 seconds

Selected by Exeter Phoenix for their 2021 Artists’ Moving Image commission, Dan’s idea was to make a film about Blackness and belonging in the English countryside, taking a family photo of some of his relatives at the Gloucestershire viewpoint Coaley Peak as a starting point. Whilst making the film, something happened.

Written, directed and edited by Dan Guthrie. Footage shot and graded by Nielsan Bohl. Additional footage shot by Conrad Bohl. Executive produced by Luke Hagan and Matt Burrows. Thanks to Jack Friswell, Sid Wells, my friends and family. Commissioned by Exeter Phoenix

Coaley Peak (A Fragment) is self-distributed, email me for more information

Screenings and exhibitions
Texts / Reviews

“Reading the poem Afterwardness by Mimi Khalvati, to contextualise the framing of my selection for the Whitstable Biennale 2022 short film programme, evoked strangely familiar and uncomfortable feelings... In light of this I was drawn to works that seek to balance pain, sadness, rejection, and displacement, with poetic beauty, hope and humour. I’ve chosen films that tell stories, that provoke us to think about our own sense of belonging, and the role we play in creating a welcoming and nurturing home for the people and natural life we share the planet with. To me these 10 films are honest and ‘feeling’ works. They tackle complex, very real and eternal states of being and living. They explore the pains and beauty of displacement, and the ever-resourceful power of the human spirit to adapt, survive, and thrive.” — Jas Dhillon, Whitstable Biennale short film programme curatorial statement, June 2022

“Guthrie was also bound by a commitment to his commissioning body, Exeter Phoenix, to produce a film exploring “Blackness and belonging in the English countryside.” Instead he offers us Coaley Peak (A Fragment), 2021, an honest, clear-eyed and moving 6 minute single take film shot in 16mm on a Bolex cine camera. We are viewing a family photo from the 1970s held up in front of the landscape in the Gloucestershire countryside in which it was taken and we are implicitly asked the question: how far has the brief been fulfilled? The captions vividly capture the shooting process and reference the burn out that led to the film’s current form... This glowing, muddied image is a thought-provoking prompt” — David Andrews, mialondonblog review, December 2022