The Art of Slowing Down Time

Documentary, 30 minutes

Solo-sailor Emma Ringqvist decides to leave the stress of modern life behind, and spends 164 days alone on the Atlantic in a small sail boat. This film includes poetry from Stephen Jenkinson, recorded and arranged by Gregory Hoskins. It also features artwork from Daniel Beerstecher’s Land Sailor project, filmed by Erik Schimschar. Also: photography from the remote island Tristan Da Cunha by renowned travel photographer Andy Isaacson.

A Word from the Director

When I interviewed author and poet Stephen Jenkinson a while back, I asked him something along these lines: ”If humanity is heading in the wrong direction, what might the beginning of a right direction look like?”. In his answer he suggested that, before insisting on any particular direction, we need to slow down our momentum. And that, even if we’re heading towards ecological sanity, we need to head there slowly. (You can watch or listen to that full interview here).

I’ve been thinking about that a lot. Intuitively it feels like these times are calling for us to hurry up. That time is running out on our hope to reverse climate change and begin the large scale social and ecological healing work that the world so desperately needs. But still, on some deep level, Stephen’s idea of slow-going, of being less, and not more efficient, rings true to me.

One outcome of trying to implement this idea in my life, was a one-year challenge of biking instead of driving to work. (There’s a short film about that challenge here). Another one is this film with solo sailor Emma Ringqvist, who decided to leave the rat race and the social media noise behind, for what turned into a 164 day soul cleanse on the Atlantic Ocean.

I reached out to Stephen Jenkinson and asked if he might be interested in creating a piece of poetry for this film, and was thrilled when he said yes. It wasn’t long until he’d written a piece, and had contacted his partner in crime, Gregory Hoskins, to record and arrange it. This film includes a shortened version of the poem, but I’m also planning to release the full piece as a separate film. More on that in the coming days and weeks.

/Mattias Olsson


The poem used in the film is an excerpt from the piece “Still” by Stephen Jenkinson. You may listen to the full poem here.

Find out more about Canadian poet and writer Stephen Jenkinson.

Gregory Hoskins is the musician who recorded and arranged Stephen’s words in the film.

This film includes an outtake from Daniel Beerstecher‘s Land Sailor Project, beautifully filmed by Erik Schimschar.

The photographs from the island Tristan Da Cunha were taken by renowned travel photographer Andy Isaacson.

Boris Laible is the man responsible for the film’s stunning sound design (you’d better turn that volume UP!).

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