Documentary The Man on the Island is a character study of Colin McLaren, a highly quotable 77-year-old who in the 1970s moved to Rakino, a tiny island in the Hauraki Gulf. McLaren opens up to director (and sometime neighbour) Simon Mark-Brown about his life and inspirations — plus his decision to live off the grid, only venturing back to Auckland to replenish vital supplies. Mark-Brown partially shot the documentary during the 2020 Covid-19 lockdown, and its theme of self-isolation is especially resonant in pandemic times. Mark-Brown's CV includes feature The Catch and wine documentary A Seat at the Table.
It's a typical evening on Rakino. There's no sound of traffic and there's no sound of the neighbours.– Colin McLaren contemplates another blissful evening on his remote island