Road Race Road Race Road Race

Road Race (2004)

  • 2 screen film/video installation Super 16mm and DV
  • Hopscotch Films
  • LFVDA Artists Film and Video Award/Film Council/AHRB

Road Race takes as its’ subject matter a hidden, illusive tradition of a largely invisible culture; illegal horse races organised by gypsies that take place on motorways in the UK.
The races are run early on Sunday mornings throughout the winter. A group of spectators form a rolling road-block while two trotting horses, with sulkies and riders, run a very fast race on the ‘public highway’. These races are intensely competitive, bets are placed, large sums of money exchange hands, reputations are made and lost. Participants come from miles around while the police turn a blind eye.

As with previous works (Lambeth Marsh, Random Acts of Intimacy) Barnard examines the relationship between fiction and documentary, between the imagined and the real by constructing fictional images around verbatim audio and visa versa.


Road Race explores the transitory nature of an underground sport and our expectations, informed by myth, of traveller culture. The secretive and hidden nature of these races offers possibility of fabrication but documentary is expected to deal with fact.

In the work two forms of representation are viewed simultaneously, one document, one fiction. One is composed of raw, handheld DV footage shot at an actual race with synchronous sound and few edits much in the tradition of cinema verité or direct cinema. The other is a constructed sequence that was shot on film, on location in controlled conditions with entirely post-produced sound; a fictional construction based on fact, in the tradition of classical cinema.

Road Race questions the aspiration of documentary to collapse the distance between reality and representation.

Links :

Road Race Credits

Screen cast:

Road Racer - Levi Coates
Horse - Apache Prince
Road Racer - Dave Thursting
Horse - London Town
Man on truck - Tommy Boulding
Man on truck - Ed Thomson
Boy on truck - Bluey Jones
Boy on truck - Johnny Jones
Man driving truck - Joe Jones
Girl with Dog - Karen Iandoli
Dog - Vinnie
Man driving car - Nick Fenton
Boy on Car - Sam Collins
Boy on Car - Bill Collins
Gambler - William Collins
Gambler - James Peckham
Speculator - Frederick Collins
Speculator - Jason Collins
Man in car - Boyce Collins
Man in car - Frank Smith
Man in car - Richard Broomhill
Man in car - James Taylor
Man in car - Billy Wood
Man driving car - Asa Griffiths
Man driving car - James Blackburn
Man driving van - Mark Butler
Man in back of van - Billy Wood
Man in back of van - Simon Evans
Man in back of van - Mick Harrington

Monitor Cast:

Alan Clark, Dave Thursting, Levi Coates, Obi Coates

Thanks to:

John Gumble and Spider, Corrina Meads, Bridie Jones, Angie Jones, Albert Coates, Levi Coates Jnr, Obi Coates Jnr , the Collins family, the Jones family, the Woods family, Jimmy Brazil, Wayne Taylor.


Production Co-ordinator - Lucy Main
Assoc Prod/Doc Sound - Simon Evans
Documentary Camera/PA - Liam Iandoli
First Asst Director - David Lawley-Wakelin
Second Asst Director - Maxwell Smith
Production Runners - Joseph Pierce, Tim Rowan
Script Supervisor - Diarmid Scrimshaw
Camera Operators - Sam Garwood, James Foster
Focus Pullers - Kirsty Abernetti, Ed Rutherford
Clapper Loader - Renee Willis
Grip - Daniel Essex
Apache Driver - Clive Noy
Telecine Colourist - Kevin Horsewood
Dubbing Mixer - James Hynes
Production Designer - Kristian Milsted
Director of Photography - Angus Hudson
Sound Designer - Tim Barker
Film Editor - Nick Fenton
Produced by - Charlotte Wontner
Directed by - Clio Barnard

Thanks to:

Panavision London
Fuji Film
Technicolor Limited
Balfour Beatty Civil Engineering Limited
Colemans Film and TV Catering
Aardvark Transport