Gallivant Review

Director Andrew Kotting, his 90 year old grandmother, and his 9 year old daughter (who has a disability) take a trip around the coast of Great Britain.

by David Parkinson |
Published on
Release Date:

01 Jan 1997

Running Time:

103 minutes



Original Title:


The prospect of a documentary touring the coastline of the British mainland with an 85-year-old woman and her great granddaughter will not be an enticing one for many a filmgoer. But if your idea of a spectacular special effect is some time-lapse footage of rolling clouds or an incoming tide, then you could do a lot worse than this decidedly British documentary.

Edited down from 30 hours of interviews and 20 hours of travelogue, this quirky little picture has more genuine characters than a dozen Hollywood blockbusters and ten times as much intelligence. Grandma Gladys, for example, is always prepared to speak her mind and young Eden is never slow in overcoming Joubert's Syndrome to express her opinions in sign language. Some of the scenes between these two are extremely touching.

There are also some very funny moments, particularly those involving the pair of Carlisle dockers who refuse to sing D'Ye Ken John Peel, and the owner of the cafe at Camber Sands who removed the tops from all the tables because people kept banging their knees on them. Unfortunately, Kotting strays at times from the trusty video diary style and goes all arty with a succession of canted angles, diverse film stocks and variegated camera speeds.

The constant intrusion of a couple of weathermen wears the patience, too. But while it's never going to help you choose next year's holiday destination, Gallivant is a pleasing enough reminder that when it comes to barmpots , Britain has more than its share.

Thoughtful and interesting travelogue.
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