Edward is preparing to leave for a voluntary service in Africa. His mother Patricia and his sister Cynthia decide to gather the family together, on a remote island, as a farewell trip to say goodbye to Edward. Hired cook Rose and painting teacher Christopher, though bought in to help, only serve to bring the family’s anxieties into sharper focus. When Edward’s father is delayed, the unspoken forces of absence and loss bring the family’s buried anger and repressed tension to the surface.
“The title relates to the family as a group of islands, linked together beneath the surface. What often links a family together goes unspoken and unacknowledged. Families are a way of protecting individuals from what they need to hear and often they have techniques for avoiding the real issues. The Leighton family in the film are such a family! Ignoring or denying one’s shadow is far worse than confronting and embracing it. If you push something disturbing out of sight, it only reappears to haunt in other ways”, says director Joanna Hogg.
Selected for London Film Festival.