SATURDAY Jan 18, 2020
2:00 PM UNCIVILIZED
(with Director Michael Lees)
Short film: FIRST KILL
Venue: Errol Barrow Centre for Creative Imagination (EBCCI) @ UWI
Disenchanted by the modern world, Michael Lees heads into the forest of Dominica with some basic survival gear, religious texts and a camera. “Why did man ever leave the forest? And what makes for a good life?” Just as he starts to acclimatize to his new life – the unexpected; Category 5 Hurricane Maria, one of the top ten Atlantic hurricanes in history, makes direct landfall. Michael must face the hurricane out in the open in a palm leaf and bamboo hut. With the nation in ruins, the forest destroyed, and essential services knocked out islandwide, the entire country must now return to a past way of life if they hope to survive.
Uncivilized is as much a story of adventure, as it is a meditation on the necessities of a good life – a timely question for our age of climate change and overconsumption.
Michael Lees is a Dominican film-maker whose films explore themes of environmentalism and spirituality, aiming to connect the dots in the “bigger picture.” Michael attended UNC Chapel Hill, where he spent the first half of his college career studying business at the Kenan-Flagler Business School, later switching his major from business to film.
Never one to shy away from bold decisions, in 2017, Michael embarked on his latest project, UNCIVILIZED, which would lead him into the forests of Dominica, where he would eventually face Hurricane Maria alone in the forest, in a palm leaf and bamboo hut.
Lees has written, shot, and edited for clients ranging from Billboard to UNICEF. Much of his inspiration is drawn from his home island, Dominica, and from an unquenchable curiosity about the world around him.