Director: Ben Rivers
“A mesmerising portrait of life on the margins.” - Sight & Sound
Deep in the Scottish wilds lives an old hermit, Jake Williams, whose only goal is to live as simply as possible. Filmmaker Ben Rivers (Slow Action, MIFF 11; and a MIFF guest in 2008) first introduced audiences to Jake in his short film This is My Land; Two Years at Sea is his feature-length debut, picking up where This is My Land left off and presenting a gentle character portrait of solitary, analogue existence in a natural environment.
Presented as a collection of raw, humble moments that capture an enigmatic spirit while immersing audiences in an atmospheric world, the film intimates at Williams' character through its lack of dialogue and languorous shots. Rivers has let his subject go about his everyday life - whether it's fishing from his makeshift raft or constructing a tree house - lending the film a beguilingly authentic quality and building a ambiguous visual language of gestures and movements that invites multiple readings.
Winner of the Orizzonti FIPRESCI prize at Venice, Two Years at Sea is a quiet, unobtrusive film about the realisation of small dreams in a harsh landscape.
D Ben Rivers WS LUX TD 35mm/2011