Specks of land in the vast infinite sea, Islands have long fascinated the human imagination. Distant and isolated worlds offer possibilities of escape and create fears of entrapment. The tiny island of Saint Helena is so remote and isolated that it was used to imprison the serial escaper Napoleon Bonaparte. Even today it lies a five-day boat journey from the nearest mainland.
On this small rock in the middle of the South Atlantic Ocean four thousand Saint Helenians or Saints, as they are locally known, lead a quiet existence far away from the mainland. The extreme isolation has preserved the island’s charm and character. There are no credit cards, parking metres or even mobile phones. It is a rural society, outwardly placid and at one with a landscape of stunning beauty, but in fact in crisis.
The non-existent economy has forced many Saints to migrate and the isolation has not always been kind to its residents. Now life on this remote British Outpost is about to be changed for good with the arrival of air access. Soon a five hour flight will replace a several day boat journey. A lifeline for the existence of a dwindling island but one that will bring unprecedented change. With the aim to attract 30.000 visitors per year, Foreign investors and the UK government hope the island could become a contemporary ‘eco’ paradise far away from the busy life of cities.
“Saints” the documentary film takes the viewer onto a voyage of discovery. An exploration of isolation and the impact that it can have on a small society. As the construction of the airport begins, the Saints wonder how their lives will change as the high-end eco-tourists start to arrive. A cinematic memory journey to a place that feels as familiar as it does outlandish.