My Mercury (2024) Movie Script

Yeah, well, here we are.
Five days on the island
Things are going great.
The dunes all around.
Isolation all about.
But the work
is the most important thing.
And that's why I'm here.
I'm gonna do it.
Carry on, push through,
do the monitoring work.
Chase the seals. Never forget.
Never forget the seals
on Mercury Island.
So anyway,
this is just to say that
basically, this guy
is fucking glad
to be back here for a while.
Down the mountain to the desert.
And then?
When we get to the desert...
When you first get to...
The first desert, you turn left.
You drive for about 300K,
then you get to the second
desert, and you turn right.
In 1988, I went
to visit my brother, Yves,
on an island off the Skeleton
Coast called Ichaboe Island.
We drove through
the Namib Desert to Lderitz,
which is the harbour
from which the boats leave
to go to the Guano Islands.
Yves is a nature
There are very few young men
who would have
wilfully signed up
to manage 50,000 gannets
on a remote island
where there was
absolutely nobody.
His enthusiasm for what he was
doing completely intrigued me,
and I wanted to go
and see for myself.
As we got closer and closer
to Ichaboe,
I could just smell
this pungent guano, birdshit.
And then the sounds.
It's a cacophony.
When you step
onto Ichaboe,
if you've got a passion
for seabirds,
it's mind-blowing;
the entire island being covered
from one end to the other
with an incredible gannet
population, at that time,
along with thousands of
and thousands of bank
cormorants and Cape cormorants.
Ichaboe Island
is just mesmerising.
Yves was a headman
on Ichaboe.
Headmen were first posted
to these bird islands
in the late 1800s,
after guano harvesters
mined the islands flat
and left nothing
for the birds to nest in.
By the time Yves got there,
industrial fishing
was forcing the birds
to travel further and further
to find food for their young,
threatening their survival
even more.
By protecting the seabirds,
my enigmatic brother had found
his niche as a conservationist,
and it was heart-warming
for me to see.
In the morning here,
it's the best time to come
and check who's male and female,
because you can see
all the footprints
on the females' backs.
You can see all the footprints.
From the males when
they copulate with females.
Then the male actually
on the female's back,
standing on the wings
and the back there.
And when the ground gets
nice and moist, like it is now,
you can see who's been
banging away at night.
Yves's exhilaration
with the natural world
was contagious.
I encouraged him
to video his experiences,
and I would film
whenever I could visit.
Later, he entrusted me
with his diaries.
After my visit, he wrote,
"14th September, 1988."
"My sister came to visit."
"At last, I could reveal
Ichaboe to someone else."
"There were bird densities
like I hadn't experienced."
"The cherry on the top
was when the gannets
obliterated a crayfish boat
from view."
"The snow-white orchestra
showing off
just before she left."
After I spent four years
on Ichaboe Island,
there was a survey vessel
going up to Mercury Island.
Mercury had been abandoned
for nearly 20 years,
and there was a seal problem
developing there.
Since I was the conservator
on Ichaboe,
my boss, Dr Williams, said,
"Can you please come with me,
and do an assessment
and a survey of the island,
and go and look
what's going on there?"
I was very excited to go there.
So I said,
"I'm jumping on that boat."
Of the island, author
Lawrence Green once wrote,
"Some forgotten shipmaster
showed a touch of genius
when he named Mercury Island."
"That bare rock
with the birds crying onto it
shakes like quicksilver
whenever the sea comes in
from the south-west
and dashes into the cave."
"This is the place
where one man after another
has gone mad."
Utter wildness.
I was absolutely astounded.
You don't get wilder than this.
Mercury is so remote
and so far from civilisation.
That augmented
the feeling of wildness.
It looks like a sleeping,
kind of crocodilian,
dinosaur-ish, weird creature.
The whole place was cosmic.
They dropped me
at the bottom of the jetty
and I climbed up the stairs,
and I was faced with this wave
of seals coming straight at me.
And I just stood there, frozen.
There was nobody on the island.
The whole settlement
was deserted.
We walked around the island,
went right up to the top,
and as far as we could go.
All we could see
was this complete imbalance,
with a seething mass of seals
bumping into
every seabird colony.
It became a competition
for space.
We realised then
that the whole thing
would eventually
be colonised by seals.
No gannets, no penguins,
the whole island would have
just gone to the seals.
Should we just allow nature
to take its course?
Since we were the ones
that put it in the wrong place,
now there's only one species
on this planet
that can make it right,
and that's us human beings.
Then we made a plan, right
Mercury Island
has to be manned,
and the seals
must be chased off,
if we wish to prevent
this local extinction.
I was the perfect person
at the perfect time
to go to the perfect place...
which was in total disorder.
"17th October, 1990."
"Animal and wild surround."
"The seals, like the sound
of a nightmare on repeat,
seem to be talking
in human sentences,
in between the growls, burps,
farts, whines, squeals, snorts,
raucous shouts
and hysterical laughter."
"How the birds have managed
to survive these conditions,
I don't know."
"Let me leave it at that
for tonight."
Yes, good morning, pal.
I'm here on Mercury Island.
It's unbelievable.
What an absolutely...
...beautiful ball of a planet
this is!
I just can't believe it, man.
It's absolutely stunning!
And... there they go.
And now it's just me
and the dudes.
scream and whip."
"I've got 15,000 seals
to deal with."
"Ichaboe is a civilised world
compared with this lot."
"Once, this island would have
had a myriad of species
living in equilibrium."
"Unmanned, the seals
have made it their domain."
"With no one to deter them,
and no predators,
their numbers grew and grew."
"Their heavy bodies destroy
everything in their path."
And here we are!
The harsh realities thereof.
Had a wash, shower,
washed my hair.
Put on a set of new clothes.
All spruced up and brand new.
This is where I am the king.
This is my domain.
It's out of the wind.
My perfect bowl.
We're in a little amphitheatre,
out of the wind.
Bank Rock...
and the sky!
Let... Let us walk along
this intricate little path here.
It's really a kind of path
that, er...
You need to have
goat's feet, man! Goat's feet!
You gotta be nifty on your toes,
you gotta make sure
you land with your...
Your foot's gotta be...
Sorry, just need to...
Yeah, sorry, Vid, I can't hold
your hand now, eh, because...
That's fair enough
without a video in your hand,
but when you have, er... Phew!
I really thought
I was gonna fall.
And I'm stuck here now.
I've just about had
heart failure here,
because I didn't have my feet
in the right place.
They have to be...
in the right place!
So you see,
that's the goat path.
Part of the Earth
man doesn't venture to
too often.
And when you do,
you do so with trepidation.
Yeah, and that's Uranus Cave.
The hollow mountain in the sea.
Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey!
And that's Growler Rock.
He just growled. The Growler!
I call him the Growler,
you know? Ha!
Yes, most impressive,
most impressive.
Most impressive indeed!
So there we have the island
getting litten up.
And there's my friend,
Bank Rock.
That is the head
of the very beast.
With the eye
right in the centre.
And then get right onto the top,
like we're riding on its back.
There, by Jupiter Peak,
or on top of the Dragon's Spine.
Surrounded by all
this incredible isolation.
Splendid isolation
I don't need no one
The true essence
of island living
is to be by yourself.
And nobody else knows that
better than me.
"I have just
acupunctured the island
with about a hundred needles
that show the places
that need to be guarded
against the seal invasion."
"Magnetic Mercury attracts them
and the island
sure offers a haven
for those furry,
whiskered beasts."
"Niches and ledges everywhere."
"But the seals
have an alternative."
"The birds do not."
What a pleasure to have
a little thing like that around.
He just, like, softens your...
an island soul's heart!
Right, I'll put you back in
the, erm, studio.
There's a good lad.
And there are some penguins
in my room.
Let's go and see what
these little fuckers are up to.
There he is now.
All huddled up on my chest.
And I'm just gonna keep him
like this until he's dry.
Our patient has reached
hospital status.
And we're gonna give him
a hot-water bottle.
Island-style hot Oros bottle.
There they are, both together.
The penguin chick
and the Oros bottle.
And it's gonna warm it up nicely
under the blanket
for him, there.
Finn has made
a dramatic recovery.
Hey! It was me that
saved your life, my friend.
Now you're all hot and excited
and full of beans.
We'll put you in the greenhouse
where there's a wet floor.
Well, that's how
a penguin chick recovers.
Seals are the most
radical animal in the world.
They are at the top
of their evolutionary scale
and that is what makes them
so amazing.
You can't imagine a better
It is the most agile creature.
Far more agile than a dolphin.
They've got a thick skin.
They've got a layer of blubber.
They've got an undercoat
of fur.
They've got a top coat of fur.
They're completely equipped
to deal with the cold.
They can dive deeper.
They can swim further.
They can stay longer out at
They are the most
incredible animals.
So, since there's
too many of them,
obviously they have an impact
on more vulnerable species,
like the gannets and the
penguins and the cormorants.
He's one fine little fellow,
this one. Alias Kingston.
And he's been brought up
for the last week or so.
Them dirty feet.
But he's doing all right.
Hey, it's breakfast time, pal.
And one day, you're gonna see
that swim past you, bru.
It's gonna swim past you
like that.
So now, let's have you. Come on.
Come on. Come on.
That's the way!
That's the way!
On Mercury Island,
I did the feeding and foraging
of bank cormorants.
They are the most important
bringers of nest material.
They swim out
to a particular bank,
that's why they're called
bank cormorants,
where seaweed grows,
and they rip it off the rock,
and bring it back
to the island.
It's crucial to have
the bank cormorants there
to be able to provide the other
birds with nest material.
These are so I know exactly
who you guys are, eh?
For penguins, I used to mark
a nest, mark the adults,
and when the eggs came out,
I used to mark them, as well.
A little bit shy this morning.
And you weigh them
every five days
from the day they hatch
until the day they leave.
They're incredibly
They've all
got individual characters,
especially if they're
surrounding your house,
and you see the same ones
every day.
And I did the same thing
with gannets, as well.
They only lay one egg,
so you weigh those chicks
from day one until day 95.
They're completely helpless
for the first two weeks
of their lives
and you just watch
this little thing grow
from a bald chick into its down
and then into its feathers,
and then getting ready
to fledge,
and watch its weight pick up
every day.
And for me,
it was just fascinating.
It drove me out there
every day for years.
Nothing! Nothing!
playing in the gale."
"They circle the island,
and I watch them twisting
necks, adjusting lenses."
"The blue accurate eyes
stare down at me inquisitively
as they make their sounds
to avoid collision of wings."
"I really, really love
I think I could stay forever."
"Strange how I miss
absolutely nobody."
"No one. Not a soul."
"Do I have something
others don't have?"
"Or do I lack something
others have,
so I can live like I do,
on a windblown, unfriendly
place, like Planet Mercury?"
We had four kids under five.
Five under eight.
We continued going
backwards and forwards
to Belgium
and... and South Africa.
Yvie was such
a weird little thing.
I didn't know what to do
with this child.
I mean, he wouldn't talk
until he was three.
He pretended he was a little
dog when he was small.
When I told him
to do something,
he would bark at me.
When he first went to school,
he was impossible,
he wouldn't do any work
He'd sit in the classroom
and stare out of the window
and think about the sea.
I built a four-bedroomed house.
We put a hut for him
in the bottom of the garden.
He wanted that and he loved it.
I never worried about him
being by himself
because I just thought
he would know how to handle it.
It's water day.
Getting brought along
by the Tobias Hainyeko.
Sweet fresh water!
I think I'd better
get some clothes on.
Been kaalgat all day.
Water of love,
deep in the ground
But there ain't no water here
to be found
Yeah, well,
we had our re-supply,
and this is what the place
looks like afterwards.
Everything stacked up here.
And then over here, we're ready,
they can drop the H bomb,
because the shop
is completely kitted out
with almost everything
The little shop on Mercury.
Here you make
all your purchases.
Erm... what can I say?
All alone on the bloody island
once again,
but that's the way
one wants it to be.
you just wanna get away,
you don't want anybody
to hassle you,
you don't want anybody
to be there.
You wanna run around kaalgat.
You wanna paint the buildings
bright purple.
You want to...
You just can do anything.
That's the best part
of being alone.
Blue neon light,
I catch you on the morrow
I catch, catch me now,
I think I got your number
I don't care anyhow
I think about tomorrow
Ah, la-di-da-di-dee
Da-da, da-da, ta-deeda
Ta-da, ta-da, ta-da
Blue neon light
Da, da-da, da-da
Da-de-da, dada-da
My head's still full
of poison
What I do is insane
This is a party. This is,
basically, I'm having a party.
You got that, Vid?
I wake up in the evening
The sun is still around
I've had one beer
and one bottle of champagne!
Ain't seen no hide, no hair,
no... no...
nothing of another human being.
Nothing! Nothing!
Are there actually
human beings out there?
You want some, Vid?
You're the only one
with brains around here.
Maybe you shouldn't have some.
Another day
Already night
-Blue neon light
-Look at this eye.
Just look at this eye.
You have got a complex.
I know you're a reflection
of myself. But just watch it.
It's you!
A reflection of you, eh, guy?
It's right in the centre
of the lens!
It's the return of the fly!
All right, now,
that's it, that's it, that's it.
You... You got me there.
OK, yeah, all right. Well,
I'm gonna stop you there,
because, er, we've got some
serious dancing to do here now.
"I just went off
to make a vow to Bank Rock."
"No drink
for a two-week spell."
"I find it helps
if you make vows."
"A two-week break
will let me get nice and fit."
"Healthy body, healthy mind.
True words."
"The Otavi
seal colony is swelling
as the operation proceeds."
"It's starting to absorb
all those
who are fed up with me."
"Still, I must keep at it
from sunrise to sunset."
"Chasing, shouting,
whipping, stoning."
"I do need a bit of a break,
although sometimes,
when everything is right,
I don't want to leave here."
"After my last gannet fledges,
I'm ready. Not before."
"An island is finite.
That is its singular quality."
"It is whole
and there is an end."
"There are birds to count.
I can count all of them."
Three male juveniles.
"I draw conclusions,
then count again,
over and over."
Fifteen adults to one...
"To create order
like this, alone,
gives me a sense of control."
"As fickle as it might be,
as detached as the birds
really are,
if there were no numbers,
I'd have to invent them."
Seal got him.
And now I've got him.
He's recuperating fairly well.
Getting some
of his strength back.
But, yeah, that gash
is really quite something.
It's the fourth day now
that I've got him.
He's already putting on weight.
Ate seven fish yesterday.
But the fish is passing through,
so the internals
are not damaged.
He's still very shy,
still very scared.
But we're gonna get you right,
aren't we, mate?
"There's a supreme law
that governs life
here on Mercury."
"No seals allowed."
"There's no appeal, either."
"Cute pups are a menace."
"They draw their mothers
back to the island,
followed by other
pregnant females."
"The return of the seals
year after year
is a cycle that must be
"I certainly have my work
cut out for me."
It's a blistering-hot
It's nine o'clock in the morning
and it's already 30 degrees.
Penguins are all heading
for the water's edge.
They're right here
in front of the palace.
It's just a mass of penguins
coming down to cool off.
But what a beautiful day
for a human being.
I've been for my umpteenth swim
The water's
a beautiful 14 degrees.
Enjoying a cup of tea.
But we're gonna go take a look
outside now.
And, erm, we're gonna
concentrate on the penguins.
Outside at the moment,
I've taken a look out there,
and it's just dying chicks.
And if you imagine yourselves
in a wetsuit,
and a pullover jersey
over that,
plus a hood and a balaclava,
that's how
a penguin chick feels.
So, let's go
and take a look out there.
The colony's still devoid.
All those nests empty.
Right till up there,
where normally
that is a mass of penguins.
A lot of them are here
in the shade of the house.
And here we have the classic
example of the suffering chick.
Abandoned, alone.
Yeah, that's the natural world.
It's a harsh and cruel world.
And we're gonna see
the carnage now
of this baking-hot day here.
One dead chick.
One dead study chick.
Another downy.
Yet another downy.
One dying downy.
Two over there.
There's two next door.
These two here.
More and more and more.
This is just
absolutely devastating.
And this is just one part
of the island.
"Perched on one of
my ledges over Hellfire Passage
as an orange orb sets.
What a day."
"I concentrated on
the seal scare in the nude."
"Got an all-over tan
and a bit of a burn on one side
of the pork sausage."
"That's nothing."
"More than 30 chicks
died of heatstroke."
"Vid filmed the carnage."
"What a shit way to go."
Opto, what's your buzz, huh?
Yeah, he's had a hard time.
He can't walk properly.
He falls all over the show.
Old Opto,
short for "optimistic".
Poor old Opto
is full of seal-bite wounds
and going through the moult.
That's why he looks so scruffy.
There's a healing seal-bite
wound in his chest over there.
Right there.
And he's got another one
in the flipper.
But he looks decidedly scruffy
and unruly.
And hopefully,
we can make him feel better.
"The seals have brought
out every emotion in me."
"I fume at their persistence."
"They're making me cruel."
"I feel like a monster,
a monster inflicting my will
on the destiny of this island
that has been left
to nature's cruel logic."
"Then I remind myself
that the pure face of nature
left the scene long ago."
"Those seals won't relent."
"And this rock
is not just an island,
it's a pure blood beast."
"I wonder if I've gone crazy,
fighting off these seals
like they're a dark force."
"Or maybe that's what's keeping
me sane. Who knows?"
"There's no one here
to tell me."
"It's the day
of the innocents."
"Unweaned, abandoned pups
are weak,
exhausted, emaciated,
and hungry for mother's milk."
"I have to tell myself
that these consequences
are unavoidable."
"It's all to try and prevent
the penguins' extinction."
"I dreamt I was sick
and getting worse."
"A hard lump pushed out
of my chest on the heart side."
"I could make out my mother,
Jolle, and my little brother
watching me as I died."
"How I wish I could meet
my forefathers,
who might have walked
this path before."
"To learn how I fit in,
what steps to take."
"If only my father could lead
me to other elders,
steer me to walk
a different path,
guided by those
I know so little about."
"Could he teach me something
good for a change?"
"In the very heart of Mercury,
a war rages
between sea and stone."
"Geological time accelerates."
"The centuries
are sculptured in rock."
"Here, I'm humble,
as in a cathedral,
and certain that one day,
even Mercury will be no more."
I think Yvie
wanted an anchor very badly.
He was really quite
a little rebel escapist.
He was always
running away and climbing
out the bathroom window
to get away from Claude.
Claude looked so nice
in those pictures.
It's hard to imagine
the ferocious creature
that he became.
"Today was one
of the most emotional days
of my life."
"I've never experienced
such a demanding situation."
"There is so much trampling
over penguins,
their nests, their eggs
and chicks."
"I can't bear it."
"Blood in the sea
feeds my anger."
"I too have made blood flow
like a river."
"Is it right? Is it wrong?"
"No wonder I had
my first nightmare in ages."
"There were steep slopes
of dogs pouring down in fear."
"They were seal-type dogs,
or dog-type seals,
moving en masse,
as they do in reality,
all to get away from me."
It looks like
a very nice, pleasant day
here on Mercury.
But we've had a seal
gone psychopathic,
taking out penguins.
All the empty nests.
Fucking seals!
And whatever seal
I come across now
is in for a tough time.
They can all go to hell!
I don't need this shit
on Mercury, OK?
I've taken out
three of the little fucks!
Except for one seal bitch
over there
who's gonna get her arse tanned
like there ain't no tomorrow!
You just don't know it,
you stupid cow!
Bye! Bye!
I don't wanna see these fucks!
Jeez, that's a bunch
of bloody bullshit, man.
A little tot of whisky.
Doesn't matter if it spills.
For those that aren't here.
There's a howling gale
going on outside here, yeah?
So, this is why
I'm trying these things.
I mean, you can't really
help me, yeah.
I just help...
I can't really help it.
Erm... And nor can you
really help me,
can you, Vid,
you fucking asshole?
Listen to the wind!
Woe betide the innocent ones
who fall into
the devil's cauldron.
Power, power, power!
That's not the way to do it!
Yeah, well, so what, eh?
Fuck the rest.
You're not supposed to behave
like a fucking bozo.
If things are going bananas,
then they must be going great.
That's the way I feel about it.
I love you.
The whole damn
goddamn lot of you.
All of you.
You funny little fellows.
You just don't know
how appreciated you are
by some of us
that live on this planet.
And I don't have to even mention
what I think about you
and how glad I am
to have you around here.
Whoopsie! Whoopsie!
OK, I'm sorry.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah,
yeah, yeah, yeah!
We need adult penguins.
Let me tell you that, Vid.
Shall we see them
in the 22nd century?
I don't think
I'd be able to stand it.
No, it's not, it's not, it's...
This is the worst day
of my life.
Excuse me. I'm sorry.
I'm really sorry, yeah?
Switch off! Switch off!
"Unlike other visits
to the mainland,
the infinite desert now only
mirrors how desperate I am
for the world of touch
and talk."
"From here,
I can hold Mercury in my hand
and see myself split in two
parts that struggle to agree."
"I can see my body and my soul
wanting something other
than birds and waves,
wings, wind, rock and sky."
"I wonder if it's time
to lay down my weapons
and listen to myself."
"I've got to wrench myself
from this contained existence
where dreams and life
have begun to merge."
On that day!
The anger that built up
suddenly burst.
I had a nervous breakdown,
panic-attack kind of thing.
And I had to be taken off
the island.
And I had to walk past
my gannet study colony.
"Sorry, guys,
I'm not gonna see you today."
"Nor you. Nor you.
Nor you. Nor you."
"I'll see you when I see you."
To have this perpetual
grinding thing in your brain,
which you had to do
every single day, for years...
At sunrise,
you get up, out of bed,
and immediately,
you are in the guano,
and fighting, fighting,
fighting, fighting!
What I was doing was wrong.
And nobody knows about it.
And... to get the story
I had to kill the pups.
- Do you know that?
- No.
Oh, right. Do you know that?
-No, come on, Yves, man!
I had to kill all the pups.
And do you think
that affected your...
your, erm...
your sanity in that way?
Of course.
- Well, what...
- Who wants to do that?
Who wants to, every
single morning of your life,
kill every single pup
that was born overnight?
Today, tomorrow,
the next day, the next day.
No. Not cool.
Shouting and screaming
like a fucking sergeant major
in the army,
as though seals are people.
That you can just regiment them,
to tell them, "Listen, fuck off,
you're not allowed here."
But they don't know.
And they can smell
that there's a female up there
that's just had a pup.
So this one's gonna come up
and have a pup, so then...
And then you've gotta kill
those pups the next morning.
- Don't you know this story?
- No, of course not.
That's why you have
a nervous breakdown, if you...
What does it do
eventually to your psyche?
And that's what happened to me.
I couldn't handle it anymore.
But I knew that
that was the only way.
That was the only way.
They told me,
"You must do this."
And I very quickly realised,
if I do this,
I'm gonna get nowhere.
So, if you do that,
which was the right option
in a cruel fashion,
then you are going
to win the war.
And so I had to do that,
otherwise I would
have got nowhere.
Absolutely nowhere.
I felt very guilty.
To be so brutal,
to be so, so, so brutal,
it had to be inside me
That's why I was able to do it.
I lost weight, I was sick,
I had panic attacks every day.
I ended up in hospital.
They got a replacement for me.
And that was it.
Only by going through
his diaries
have I realised the anguish
my brother endured
and the remorse
he was wrestling with.
But despite his fragile state,
he was determined
to go back to Mercury
to stop the seals
from breeding there.
Otherwise, all the sacrifices
would have been in vain.
Abandoning the birds
to their fate
was not an option for Yves.
I'd already
been in Walvis Bay
for about six months.
And there was a change
of governments
and the islands
were given to Namibia.
And the guy
who had taken my position
had decided
to stay with South Africa,
so the post on Mercury
was open.
I said, "I want it."
"My job on that island
is not finished."
I've got old Yves here.
I don't know whether
you've got anything
you want to be brought out
to the island or anything? Over.
Yeah, put the bugger on!
It's about time
we heard from him.
We've been missing him.
He suddenly disappeared
off the air.
Yes, hello, Ichaboe.
Captain Quicksilver here.
Going back to the planet
very shortly,
so I'll see you tomorrow
and hand you all your goodies.
Is there any special things
that you want? Over.
Ja, Yves, very good
to hear your voice again
and look forward to getting you
back on the island.
So, we'll see you tomorrow.
Even though I was still
suffering from panic attacks,
I'd said,
"I'm not gonna tell anyone."
"I'm just gonna see
what happens."
When something
gets taken away from you,
especially in that fashion,
then you realise
your work, your passion,
you will do it in a blizzard,
you will do it in a heatwave,
and nothing is gonna stop you
from doing it.
Nothing. Nothing.
And that's why
I went back there.
I said, "Thank you, dear God,
for bringing me back
to this beautiful place
where I've sweated and cried
and shed so much blood."
"The outside world
doesn't even exist!"
All the birds
are up already.
Cast your fears!
Cast your fears away!
Sink your tears
deep into Spencer Bay
Feels like I lived here
for a thousand years
Da-da, na-no
Well, back on Mercury.
Naturalist in exile.
And all the happier for it.
pretty much the same.
Nice to have bankies around.
It's the one bird I really miss,
this guy.
That's it, steal his nest.
Steal his whole bloody nest.
And look who's parking
on the roof!
A whole row
of crowned cormorants.
What about this park bench here?
How's about we park here
and watch the sunrise?
It's built for ten.
Actually, I don't know if it's
actually very nice to sit on.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, I think it is.
Yeah, wonderful park bench.
All the hobos park...
Can you believe it?
The tin just... Fuck!
Yeah, well, here we are.
Five days on the island,
Things are going great.
Wrap it all up.
Make your models.
Have your surf.
Take your rows across.
Make my bags. Do my macram.
You can practise your hobbies.
You can learn new things,
start new things.
You can do what you want.
But the work
is the most important thing.
And that's why I'm here.
Chase the seals. Never forget.
Never forget the seals
on Mercury Island.
Because we're gonna
be chasing them seals.
But this is the time
when we don't have so many
of them around.
But anyway,
this is just to say that
basically, this guy,
he's fucking glad
to be back here for a while.
When I got back to Mercury,
I had to continue
to chase seals off the island.
But it was already much easier.
Eventually, I could see
that my efforts were working.
And after that,
it kind of gave me
a psychological confidence
over myself,
which made me feel,
"Hey, snap out of it,
you're gonna be all right."
Yeah, I'm quite looking forward
to it, actually.
Gives me a good chance
to get back into the whole
scene, you know. Over.
"Be as busy as possible."
Gonna work a bit of penguin.
First, a sip of tea
out of my penguin cup.
Those are my feet
covered in seal shit.
after losing their pups
two or three seasons in a row,
the seals slowly clicked on
to the fact
that this place
is not cool for seals.
So, now all we've gotta do
is apply a bit of control
without killing,
without culling,
so that the other species
can get their foothold back.
And then to see how the seabird
colonies just blossomed,
because the space
was now available.
There's a fine stack of penguins
for you.
Then there's a little friend
over here.
Come on.
Good little scratch there.
I'm burning up
all this fucking shit.
This Mercurian wants to be pure
in the mind, you know.
And then what I'm gonna do
is I'm gonna make
another balcony here.
Yo, Vid, you're lucky you
haven't got a pair of arms
and a pair of legs,
cos you'd be helping me here.
She's nice. She's nice.
She's very nice.
But I don't wanna see her.
You're stuck with me, pal,
in this crazy job.
So, just do your job and film.
Right? Right!
Good, you little fuck.
I was only joking, you know.
But when I'm alone like this,
you must accept
that you are the only one
that I can take it out on.
I hate to admit it,
but, like, half of these girls
I know off by heart.
Vid, switch yourself off,
my bru.
Here, this is the island, eh?
And we were standing
right there on the balcony.
And there's Boy-Boy.
He's been looking at the sea
all day.
Come on, in you go.
In you go, mister.
There you go!
New balcony.
And, of course,
doesn't take long for these guys
to click on, eh?
Here come the boys,
here come the boys,
here come the boys!
And it's a different kind
of dolphin.
It's a bloody big thing.
Wow, man!
Wow! Whoo!
Bottlenose, man! Ha!
You beautiful things!
God, I've never seen them
here before!
Catching them right through
this little gap here.
Action or what?
Action shots. Action shots.
Whoo-hoo! There they go.
And this is happening the entire
length and breadth of the cove.
What a life these guys
are having, man. Jeepers!
I wanna be a seal!
I wanna be a seal!
Those panic attacks
lasted for four years.
And then I told myself, "You've
gotta be able to control this."
Once I could gauge
when it was gonna happen,
I could implement
what I had to do.
Suppress, suppress, suppress.
And it was gone.
That took four years
to heal that.
Don't we make
a pretty little pair?
He looks the same as me
and I look the same as him.
So, how's that, eh?
No dying on us, eh?
After the third year, I could
feel it was going right.
After the fourth year,
I could actually
start relaxing.
And in my fifth year,
I felt I had done my job.
All I could see
was this thriving island
with all the birds.
Thousands, thousands
and thousands
and thousands of birds.
And the seals, right there,
900 metres away,
colonised the beach
on the mainland.
On the island,
was this beautiful eco-system.
And so the whole of Spencer Bay
was pretty much in equilibrium.
I felt absolutely fantastic.
OK, Vid!
A good man took my place.
They don't have to do
what I had to do.
They can enjoy the island.
I hate killing things.
It's not what you want to do.
You don't wanna kill
this clever animal
that is so agile in the water
and so flipping agile on land.
if you're a feeling person.
I only kill things
that I have to kill,
which would be problem animals
within the sphere of my work.
I don't wanna kill anything.
By the time Yves left,
he had spent eight years
on Mercury.
One of his last diary entries
"Peering into the immensity
of the night sky,
what a universe we live in."
"How dare we put our planet
through the risks we do."
"Humans are so gifted,
yet so destructive."
"Should we merely observe
the outcomes of our folly?"
"Or is it our responsibility
to step in?"
"I hate man, yet I love him,
for I, too, am a man."
Stepping ashore
on the new world.
New world's full of kelp.
Well, here we are, eh?
Here we are.
New man, new world,
new pozzie, new everything.
New town.
New island.
I wake up in the evening
The sun is still around
The street seems to be busy
I hear the traffic sounds
Last night's been lousy
I had a lot to drink
Too many dry martinis
And cans of beer to sink
Another day
Already night
Blue neon light
Blue neon light
I could call my Rhianna
Ask her to meet me now
I think I lost her number
It's too late, anyhow
I could put on the TV
Or I could stay in bed
Decisions drive me crazy
Decisions drive me mad
Another day
Already night
Blue neon light
Blue neon light