IDFA Review: Geographies of Solitude

Since the birth of Homo sapiens, we’ve been moving inexorably towards population centres. While early man lived alone or in family groups, more and more banded together for safety in numbers. This evolved into small settlements, which have grown in size ever since. Today, major cities are now hubs for young people and those seeking employment. With the industrialisation of agriculture, increasingly drawing workers away from the countryside.

However, there are those, especially in our increasingly connected world, who seek solitude. Sometimes they might not be aware of it themselves, until life places this isolation in their path. Sable Island is a remote outcrop of Nova Scotia, situated just over a hundred miles from mainland Canada. It has been the home of Zoe Lucas for forty years. Geographies of Solitude follows her as she goes about her daily life.

Filmed in 16mm, Geographies of Solitude captures both the fragility and isolation of this living and breathing island environment. What will strike you first is the sheer beauty of Jacquelyn Mills’ film, charting all weathers and seasons along with the variety of the flora and fauna which call it their home. The result is part documentary/part experimental art project, which celebrates the diversity of life on Earth while also highlighting the dangers to its existence.

Geographies of Solitude screens at IDFA.

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