We Were An Island
2018: Short Narrative
Inspired by the book We Were An Island: The Maine Life of Art and Nan Kellam by Peter Blanchard III, the film imagines the Kellam’s life on Placentia, an uninhabited island off the coast of Maine from their arrival in 1949 until just after Art’s death in 1985, when Nan returned to live there alone. Whether in response to the horrors they witnessed in international news during World War II or from a desire to take on a life project that was utterly unique, the couple built their own home and lived in near isolation. They experienced both independence from society and a connection with nature that seem nearly impossible today. Their story is a metaphor for what it means to enter a life partnership, what is gained and what is sacrificed. Ultimately, it is a grand accomplishment just to remain on that ‘island’ of our own design.