In December of 1900, three lighthouse keepers stationed on Flannan Isle off the coast of Scottland disappeared without a trace. They were never heard of again. The authorities found a diary entry logged by the keepers where they write about a terrible weather as the one they have never seen in 20 years at sea. It is interesting to note that the general weather reports at the time indicated that the weather was fine and calmed. Nobody knows what happened to the three men.
The movie The Vanishing is a thriller based on what might have happened. We witness what their lives were like on the island during their shift, and how they got along with each other. One day, while making the rounds on the island, they discover what appears to be the wreck of a lifeboat in a crag. They lower the youngest and lightest of them down with a rope to investigate. He finds what appears to be a dead body, along with the crashed boat and a sea chest.
The body, as it turns out, was not dead. This sets off a series of events the men could not have anticipated. Quickly they find themselves in a quagmire of conflicting emotions. Lack of judgement, kneejerk reactions, and simple greed escalate their situation where soon they see no way out.
The Vanishing is a well-structured thriller with simple photography and virtually no sound track. I became part of the set and experienced the isolation, the cold, and the monotony of the life of the keepers. It made me think about the human experience under drastic and unbearable conditions.