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201 Ratings

The Island of St. Matthews

Directed by Kevin Jerome Everson
United States, 2013


Years ago Kevin Jerome Everson asked his aunt about old family photographs. Her reply—that “we lost them in the flood” was the catalyst for this film, a poem and paean to the citizens of Westport, Mississippi, the hometown of the filmmaker’s parents.

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The Island of St. Matthews Directed by Kevin Jerome Everson
It’s a quiet, measured film that allows the river its time and the people to speak at their own pace. Work, leisure, faith, and environment are inseparably entwined.
July 17, 2015
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Like an unedited roll of film stock whose colors have dulled from sitting out in the humid sun for too long, this lethargic document of a waterlogged, hermetically sealed Mississippi rural community ambles along to the lulling hum of a motorboat or the distant creak of a dam door closing and opening, the only challenge to its slumber being the intermittent ringing of a church bell, itself at least six decibels below the default din of super-compressed modern sound mixes.
March 06, 2014
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[Everson’s] sixth feature-length film, The Island of St. Matthews, takes a fascinatingly oblique approach to exploring the tensions between nature, labor, and memory. As with his past works, its construction is deceptively simple, harboring conceptual and sensual intricacies that are equally manifest in the grain and light leaks of the 16mm stock (transferred to digital) and in the contemplative mood the film engenders.
March 05, 2014
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