Fancy watching a comical, surreal musical with Robinson Crusoe, about refugees on the Mediterranean Sea? Look no further! The switch of perspective, previously demonstrated by Romanian animator Anca Damian in L’extraordinaire voyage de Marona in 2018 – in which a dying dog reflects on his owners – also drives The Island. Here, Robinson Crusoe is not a desperate marooned sailor, but someone who voluntarily wiles away his days on an island. One day, Friday washes ashore – the sole survivor from a boat full of people trying to reach Italy. Criminals, border guards, and mermaids follow.
The result is not so much an indictment, as an absurd animation set to music which, in Damian’s own apt words, is a mix of The Little Prince, Robinson Crusoe, and Monty Python. The most bizarre scenes pass across the screen and merge together. In short, a film powered by wild free association, comic observation, and visual poetry.