The self-supporting Jake Williams lives in the middle of the forests of Scotland. In 2006, Ben Rivers went to see him for his short film This Is My Land; in Rivers’ first full-length film Two Years at Sea, we see this loner in all seasons, beautifully recorded in black-and-white cinemascope.
There are days when Jake saws branches, surrounded by derelict cars and broken equipment. There are days when he builds a raft to float on a loch. At other moments, he focuses on strange projects, such as building a tree hut by hanging his caravan in the treetops. During his daily strolls, he whistles as he walks among the fir trees; Jake doesn’t need words any more.
In Rivers’ portraits, intangible phenomena such as shifts in light and darkness are more important than explanations. In 2008, the director won a Tiger Award for Short Film in Rotterdam with Ah, Liberty! (2008). Two Years at Sea won the FIPRESCI Prize in Venice. Rivers' latest short film, Sack Barrow, can also be seen this year in Rotterdam.