Making its North American premiere at the Los Angeles Film Festival (lineup revealed earlier this afternoon) is multiple-award-winning filmmaker Kevin Jerome Everson’s The Island of St. Matthews – a 70-minute film that’ll compete in the feature documentary section of the festival, and is described as follows:
The Island of St. Matthews tells the historic tale of the people of Westport, Mississippi, who had grown accustomed to annual flooding from the Tombigbee River. In 1973, the flooding was worse than ever and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers intervened to put a stop to the cyclical damage by building a dam. In doing so, they created the Island of Saint Matthews. Everson travels to this unique island to capture the stories of local residents as they reflect upon the flooding of 1973 and modern life on the island. The film is infused with static shots that delve the audience into the destruction, vitality, beauty, wonder, and meaning of water on the island.
The 70-minute film is said to combine both color and b&w cinematography, and based on the trailer I found below, contains the usual Kevin Jerome Everson film characteristics – sparse and rugged, combining documentary and seemingly scripted elements, focusing on the lives of mostly working class people of African descent; somewhat abstract and will likely be a demanding watch.
Terri Francis interviewed Kevin earlier this year – a terrific interview which you’re strongly encouraged to read HERE if you haven’t already.
In the meantime, here’s the trailer for The Island of St. Matthews – courtesy Trilobite-Arts-DAC and Picture Palace Pictures: