Film Review: “To Keep the Light” – Women Lighthouse Keepers

Port Sanilac Lighthouse
Women lighthouse keepers

A film about women lighthouse keepers, written and directed by Erica Fae. Fae also stars in it. The film features breathtakingly beautiful vistas surrounding a lighthouse on the Maine shoreline. “More than 300 women tended United States lighthouses during the 1800s, assuming the duties for their ailing or deceased husbands or fathers.” this is a poignant reminder of the role woman lighthouse keepers played in United States history.

Review of To Keep The Light

“To Keep the Light” is a 2016 independent film directed by Erica Fae. The film is set in the late 1800s and follows the story of Abbie, a woman who takes on the responsibility of maintaining a lighthouse on a remote New England island while her husband is away at sea.

The film explores the isolation and hardships of life as a lighthouse keeper, but it also delves into the gender politics of the time. Abbie is the only person on the island and must maintain the lighthouse, tend to the garden, and care for her ailing husband. The film shows how women were often viewed as inferior to men in the 19th century and how Abbie must navigate the expectations and prejudices of the people around her.

Erica Fae, who also stars in the film as Abbie, captures the harsh realities of life on the island. The film is shot to emphasize the desolation and beauty of the surroundings, and the haunting soundtrack adds to the overall atmosphere.

One of the strengths of the film is its attention to detail. The filmmakers did extensive research into the lives of lighthouse keepers and the culture of the time, and it shows in the film’s authenticity. From the way Abbie dresses to the tools she uses to maintain the lighthouse, everything feels true to the period.

“To Keep the Light” is a slow-burning film that may not be for everyone. The pacing can feel deliberate at times, but it serves to emphasize the isolation and monotony of Abbie’s life. The film is also a powerful commentary on the resilience of women and the importance of recognizing their contributions to history.

Overall, “To Keep the Light” is a well-crafted film that provides a glimpse into the lives of women lighthouse keepers in the 19th century. It’s a haunting and beautiful film that is definitely worth a watch for anyone interested in history, women’s roles, and independent cinema.

Film Review: To Keep the Light

About Film Director Erica Fae

Erica Fae is an American actress, director, and writer who has worked in film, theater, and performance art. She was born in Connecticut and graduated from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts with a degree in theater.

Fae is best known for her work in independent film and her focus on stories of women and marginalized communities. In addition to directing “To Keep the Light,” she also wrote the screenplay and starred in the film as Abbie, the lighthouse keeper. Fae’s performance in the film was widely praised for its authenticity and emotional depth.

In addition to her work in film, Fae is also an accomplished theater director and performer. She has written and directed several plays, including “Take What Is Yours,” which explores issues of gender and power, and “Enter Your Sleep,” a multimedia performance piece that examines the intersection of sleep, dreams, and memory.

Fae’s work often explores themes of isolation, resilience, and the human experience in challenging circumstances. She has stated that her goal as a filmmaker and artist is to tell stories that highlight the complexity and richness of the human experience, particularly for people who are often overlooked or marginalized.

Overall, Erica Fae is a talented and visionary filmmaker who brings a unique perspective and voice to her work. Her focus on stories of women and underrepresented communities has helped to shed light on important issues and inspire meaningful conversations about the human experience.

Final Thoughts

The stories of women lighthouse keepers are a fascinating but often overlooked aspect of history. These women faced isolation, harsh weather conditions, and societal prejudices, yet they persevered and kept the lights burning. Catherine Shook, who managed Pointe Aux Barques lighthouse after her husband’s tragic death, is just one example of the resilience and strength that these women possessed. Her experiences are a testament to the important role that women played in maintaining lighthouses and ensuring the safety of sailors at sea. The film “To Keep the Light” serves as a poignant reminder of this history and sheds light on the struggles and triumphs of women lighthouse keepers.

Related Reading to Women Lighthouse Keepers

The First Woman Lighthouse Keeper in Michigan Ran The Pointe Aux Barques Lighthouse – In 1849, Catherine Shook was appointed the first woman lighthouse keeper in the State of Michigan. She ran the Pointe Aux Barques Lighthouse until 1851.

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Mikki Smith

Mikki is a graduate of Indian River State College and currently living and working in Isreal as a developer of AI chatbots for the travel industry. She writes part-time and is working on her first book about chatbot development.

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