The remote island of St. Helena is best known for being where Napoleon spent his final years in exile and was ultimately buried. His grave is beautifully maintained and serves as the island's biggest tourist attraction. To encourage tourism, the island decides to build its first commercial airport. Annina van Neel arrives from Namibia to help with the construction and is present when the remains of thousands of “freed slaves” are uncovered. Heeding her increasing discomfort with how the bones are handled, Nina campaigns tirelessly to honor their legacy and integrate them into the history of the island - their fate is, after all, intertwined with that of Napoleon's.
This captivating film shines a pensive light on the contrast between whom we place importance on and the legacy of colonial rule on an island still governed from Britain. The story isn't just a local one, but radiates outward connecting to the global consequences of the Transatlantic Slave Trade. The film celebrates personal victories, and mourns collective setbacks along Nina's journey to create a respectful burial ground. Her initially lonely quest leads to unexpected connections as she slowly finds a sense of belonging and purpose.--Frederic Boyer
Part of the Juneteenth programming. Sponsored by:
Joseph Curran & Dominic de Vere are a directing duo compelled by vital stories in urgent need of a spotlight. It is this mission statement that led them to Saint Helena, one of the world’s most remote islands. A Story of Bones is their ﬁrst feature-length documentary.