Mercury

An Island Diary

Director of Photography: Craig Matthew
Written and Directed by: Joelle Chesselet
Editor: Ronelle Loots
©Doxa Productions 1994
Duration: 27 minutes

Mercury Island lies in the icy South Atlantic Ocean less than a mile off the Namib Desert coastline, but far away from anything else. For two centuries this volcanic rock was pillaged for guano and penguin eggs, the surrounding waters stripped of fish. The birds vanished and the island became a booming seal colony. In 1990 Yves Chesselet, a conservationist, moved to the island to aid the dwindling original population of seabirds. He lived there for two years, in the company of gannets, penguins, cormorants... and his dreams. The young conservationist is confronted with the fragility of his own survival in the face of solitude.