Back and Forth is a new film by artist and filmmaker Dmitri Galitzine commissioned for Lift the Lid on Island Culture.
The identity of the Isle of Wight is inseparable from the body of water that surrounds it. East Cowes sits on a peninsular where the river Medina flows into the sea. There’s only one road in and out.
At the heart of this project are questions of boundary and passage. The film explores what it means to live on an island, and to what extent island-ness can inform the identity of a place and its people. An insurmountable sea denies islanders vital freedoms of movement. Thus, we are asked to unravel our relationship with borders and collectivity. We confront a pertinent duality, feeling simultaneously cut off by the sea and protected by it. To keep others out can imprison us within.
Buried deep within this marriage of island and sea is the ferry. A huge and majestic ship that cuts so effortlessly across this busy waterway, serving East Cowes with supplies and access to and from the mainland. But this is a complex symbiosis. On the one hand, the ferry is a reliable and loyal steed but on the other an authoritarian force, the islander’s gatekeeper. To some, a business serving the island as best it can and to others a ruthless company chewing its way through it.
Somewhere within these ruminations, we are asked to confront the structures of corporate capitalism. As our world gets smaller and corporations get bigger, what exactly is it that we are racing towards? Some islanders want a tunnel. But would they still be islanders any more? Must things always go forward? At the very core of this film lies these questions, about what progress really is, to whom and what might lie in its wake.
This film has been commissioned for Lift The Lid