The Island of St. Matthews is much more than a fable of forgotten history.
The film, directed by local filmmaker and UVa Associate Professor, Kevin Everson, 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.
Everson has created 30 feature and short films on the lives and conditions of people of African descent, and his passion for film and people is evident in all of his works.