Faroe Islands – The Hidden Secret
Directed by Thomas Vitali | Review by Helen Wheels
[dropcap]Thomas[/dropcap] Vitali’s short film, Faroe Islands – The Hidden Secret reads like a National Geographic nature film with clear, crisp 4k footage from the Phantom 4 Pro Drone. Vitali skillfully maneuvers the drone to give us a birds-eye view of a hidden treasure,a spectacular flight through a wonderland of waterfalls, rugged cliffs, and lush green meadows. The Faroe Islands lie northwest of Scotland, halfway between Iceland and Norway. This land is thousands of years old, crafted by whipping winds and the fierce waves of the Northeast Atlantic Ocean.
We begin our journey flying low, hugging a long stretch of highway over rough terrain, through a tunnel into the light, emerging to a sweeping view of ocean and clouds. Now we are high above the islands, exploring the jagged cliffs. Natural giants covered in mossy grass on one side, and barren on the other. On the ocean side of the cliff, thousands of years of weathering reveal colorful layers of sediment, yellow, green and gold. The layers of basalt, stand as a testament to history, when, millions of years ago ancient volcanoes continuously erupted, building layer upon layer of basalt.
As we fly on, Vitali aims his camera toward the ground. Our view meanders over a green meadow, disturbed only by a small stream that cuts through toward a preformed destination. Long shadows, composed of clouds overhead cover the treeless terrain as we head back inland. There are fishing boats and crab pots lining the bay. Despite its vast wilderness and untamable conditions, the Faroe Islands boast a thriving community that dates to the days of the Vikings.Quaint cottages and moss-covered stone houses line the coast of a small fishing community, while beyond, the stream that we passed earlier has made its way to the ocean where it transforms into a pristine waterfall crashing into the cold Atlantic.
Vitali shows us natural wonders that have been kept a secret for thousands of years. Yet, there are those who know of this enchanted place. The Faroe Islands’ main industry is tourism; they are home to hundreds of artists and craft persons. To the south, there is Torshavn and Streymoy; proudly named by the Vikings, the capital takes after the Nordic God of war, Thor. With its location in the middle of the country situated on a narrow quay, the parliament ‘løgtingið’ and commercial life have been important hubs of the city for centuries. Passenger ferries sail between the islands and out to Denmark and Iceland.
In addition to filmmaking, Thomas Vitali is a travel writer. His short film certainly sparked my interest in finding out more about this wonderland of the Atlantic. In my search, I found that there is also a bustling music scene and nightlife. The Faroe Islands genuinely are a hidden secret. Not only because they boast about some of the most magnificent landscapes on the Earth, but also because there is culture, art, and music to add to the experience.
Helen Wheels is an independent filmmaker, freelance writer, and visual artist. She has produced, directed, worked as a set designer and scenic painter, and has been an assistant director on dozens of films. Wheels graduated from Shoreline College with an AAAS in Digital Film Production and is continuing toward her MFA in New Media Communications. Known for her eye to detail and advanced research skills, Wheels is currently researching historical events for her latest script and is in the process of developing her online writing business.