Synopsis: Martha’s Vineyard is a tight-knit community that experiences an influx of more than 100,000 visitors onto the 96 square mile island every summer. With the cyclical swells of day trippers, weekly renters, summer residents, and seasonal workers, daily life on Martha’s Vineyard offers unique social, economic, and emotional challenges that linger throughout the summer and the off-season.
In the off-season, life is far calmer. Island businesses and their workers wait in quiet anticipation for “next summer” when the bulk of annual economic activity occurs. Many take this time to recharge and immerse themselves in the island’s intrinsic beauty. However, that beauty masks a culture of permissiveness that brings storm clouds to Vineyard shores throughout the year. Inactivity and perceived isolation serve to exacerbate a susceptibility to substance misuse that can entrap anyone. For those already struggling with the stigma of addiction, coupled with the more recent brutal pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic, that snare can become deadly.
On Island is a documentary film designed to shed light on these year-round challenges and mobilize this unique community to proactively embrace positive change.