For more than 40 years, Zoe Lucas has lived on Sable Island, a small sliver of land—30 by 1½ km—off the Nova Scotia coast, in the Atlantic Ocean. She lives in complete harmony with the magnificent natural environment that she studies, charts, and maintains—where possible.
Filmmaker Jacquelyn Mills follows Lucas on her daily walks across the island, in a variety of weather conditions—all equally photogenic—and captures them on 16mm film. The two women inspire one another with their interest in research and art, and this gives rise to new projects. One involves using natural materials such as horse dung, algae and plants for the recording and developing of film. The results become part of the documentary, accompanied by experimental music “made” by insects.
But Lucas’s life on the island is not all idyllic, because pollution, especially from plastics, has reached Sable Island. A sense of impermanence intensifies the melancholic undertone and beauty of the film.