Scene from the film By Our Selves
Scene from the film By Our Selves
Scene from the film By Our Selves

By Our Selves

  • United Kingdom
Audio Tracks 

By Our Selves documents a four-day walk made by the English Poet John Clare. Toby Jones, Iain Sinclair and a Straw Bear follow in his footsteps exactly 150 years after his death. En route they bump into Macgillivray, Dr Simon Kovesi and the wizard Alan Moore. The journey is narrated by Toby’s father Freddie, a maverick actor who featured in numerous David Lynch films.

John Clare's escape from Epping Forest; an epic march through hunger and madness, is an English journey to set beside 'A Pilgrim's Progress'. Andrew Kötting, hyperkinetic camper-van captain of Gallivant, sets out in hot pursuit, dressed as a Straw Bear. Father and son, Freddie and Toby Jones, are possessed by the spirit of Clare, and locked in Beckettian embrace: one all-voice and one all-mute.

The writer Iain Sinclair watches from the shadows, Alan Moore waits like a bearded figure of fate in Northampton and Dr Simon Kovesi hands out the medicine.

Captured in lustrous black and white photography, they discover the only truth of the road; whatever our hopes and delusions, we are always By Our Selves.


  • Original Title
    By Our Selves
  • Direction
  • Cinematography
    Nick Gordon Smith
  • Editing
    Andrew Kötting, Cliff West
  • Music
    Jem Finer
  • Sound
    Philippe Ciompi
  • Runtime
    80 min (46-90 min.)
  • Year
  • Country
    • United Kingdom
  • Festivals
    • FIDMarseille 2015
  • Awards
    • Special Mention of the International Competition, FIDMarseille 2015 is powered by Doc Alliance, a creative partnership of 7 key European documentary film festivals. Our aim is to advance the documentary genre, support its diversity and promote quality creative documentary films.

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