Disenchanted by the modern world, filmmaker 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 acclimatise to his new life, the catastrophic Category 5 Hurricane Maria (one of the top ten strongest Atlantic hurricanes in history) makes a direct landfall on Dominica. Michael is caught 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 (2019)


England, Dominica






Michael Lees


Wed 21 Aug 2019, 2.00pm, Q+A

Thu 22 Aug 2019, 4.00pm, Q+A

Caribbean Premiere

Michael Lees

Michael Lees

Michael Lees is a Caribbean-British filmmaker whose films aim to explore the relationship between the private “spiritual” world and the public shared world of society, culture and the environment. This UNC Chapel Hill graduate has already made his mark as an emerging director. In 2014, he made his directorial and editorial debut film, “Letting Go”, premiering at the UNC Swain Lot Film Festival – a short experimental doc exploring the filmmaker’s shifting philosophy towards life, death and suffering through the lens of illness. Lees has written, shot, and edited for numerous clients including Billboard, Agile Films, and UNICEF. “Uncivilized” is his debut feature documentary. Much of his inspiration is drawn from his home island, Dominica.

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