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Frank (Peter Mullan) is a hard-working 55-year-old shipbuilder, respected in his local community, who suddenly finds himself without a job. When his friend Danny (Billy Boyd) jokes that on a clear day he could swim to France, an idea is planted in Frank's mind. Concealing his plans from his loving wife (Brenda Blethyn), Frank determines to put his life back together by attempting the ultimate test of endurance—swimming the English Channel—and in so doing he cements a broken relationship with his grown up son (Jamie Sives).
Directed by Gaby Dellal.
 

I thought it would be warm and that I'd start at the foot of the mountain in a pair of cut-off jeans and a long sleeve T-shirt and that as the sun beat down I would peel off the T-shirt and wear a vest, a vest that would soon be drenched in sweat, my shoulders smoldering under the midday sun. And I'd be gasping for water. A camel bag on my back, the cold water dispensing slowly through the plastic pipe down my throat. The mountainscape constantly changing before my eyes. A jungle, eagles, trees, animals and then steeper, more barren rugged land underfoot, a moonscape, craters and eventually snow. Making a film is a challenging, arduous and extraordinary task. It's exciting, exhilarating, difficult and you have to keep pushing on relentlessly, through thin air lacking oxygen, splitting headaches, on and on, and then eventually you may see a peak, a chink of light, an end in sight, a heaven…and the clouds may part and you could have a small window of time in which it is safe to make the final ascent…but sometimes the weather isn't in your favour and you get thick cloud cover and you have to turn back, you cannot make the final ascent. I climbed Kilimanjaro but I never got to the top. In fact I got altitude sickness and I had to come down off the mountain but I learnt that the final ascent to the summit wasn't really the point. It had been the process and the actual amount of effort I had put into my climb that was important. There was no sunshine, in fact it rained for five days and it was dark and the vegetation was barren and inhospitable. The weather was cold and the mountain vista less visible but nonetheless I accomplished something. I experienced something. I felt alive.

On a Clear Day is about a man who decides to swim the English Channel. He could have climbed a mountain, run a marathon or indeed anything that symbolized an ascent or a crossing. And in Frank’s case, as I believe in all our cases, his swim, his huge endeavour, touches something far more poignant. He reaches deep inside himself and faces up to the death of his young son 20 years earlier. He crosses from one part of his life to another. He mends a relationship that had long been broken. And in so doing he heals. In my research for the film I met a lot of people who have endeavoured to realize their dreams through swimming or climbing or running and for the most part there was a deep emotional reason for doing it, a gaping wound that needed to be healed.

As a woman of 44 I am enjoying my own ascent, my endeavour to tackle the challenges I set for myself. I am enjoying telling stories, making films, swimming huge expanses of water, fighting my corner, winning battles, losing them, however small or large they may be. And in the process I am learning and the sun doesn't always shine and the mountains seem to get bigger and bigger and more and more impossible, but there is always something exhilarating and life affirming to spur you on.

I want the momentum to keep going. I would like to inspire others not to give up or let go, to realize their dreams and to feel better. On a Clear Day is a healing film about hope, success and new beginnings.