Finis terrae

(End of the Earth)

BAMPFA Student Pick!

  • Judith Rosenberg
    Live Music

    on piano

A masterpiece of silent cinema.


On an uninhabited island in Brittany, four men collect and burn kelp for its valuable ash. Separated from civilization by a treacherous sea passage, they are in competition for the kelp, an antagonism that is reflected at home between their respective families. When one, young Ambroise, is brought down by an infected cut on his thumb, it threatens the whole enterprise. The secretly festering wound becomes a symbol of the need for healing before anything approaching community can be achieved. Epstein collaborated with the local people to tell their story of living in fear of the very thing that gives them life, the sea, but what he does with the sea’s drama owes only to him.

Judy Bloch
  • Joseph Barth
  • Joseph Kottula
Print Info
  • B&W
  • DCP
  • Silent
  • 80 mins
  • Gaumont Pathé Archives
Additional Info
  • French intertitles and English electronic titling