Known as the “Island of Flowers”, Martinique brings to mind exotic beaches of fine sand and constant sun in a bright sky. Located in the Caribbean, it was colonised by the French in 1635. In a few shots, Aliha Thalien sets her scene between coconut trees and blue seas. The picture-postcard imagery, embraced by a splendid foreground full of dense, saturated colours set to a background of shatta, gradually gives way to the silence of other views, reminding us, for example, of the island’s slave-owning past. The change in tone indicates a distancing from the exoticization of the island. A tracking shot from a motorbike creates a movement that seems to lead us to its heart – it’s a portrait of the interior that Nos Îles paints. Our guides are young people, filmed in a group, with all the joy, vigour and promise of youth. With her unpretentious editing, gentle modulations of ambient sounds and fixed frames, the director cultivates a feeling of steamy tranquillity. A friendly complicity reigns between their splashing around in the water, and the crystal-clear skies, punctuated by casual jokes and digs aimed at the békés (white creoles descended from the early colonisers). Simply, Thalien records snatches of conversation that veer between light-hearted topics and more serious considerations of the island’s socio-economic realities such as the colonial legacy, the relationship with mainland France, the desire for political independence and the control of resources. Implicitly, a contrasted portrait emerges of a multiple Martinique, infused with the lucidity of its mixed-race, Creole youth and its easy sovereignty.