Roger Ebert opens a positive review with this:
a tone poem of old memories, a family album in which all of the pictures are taken on the same day. It tells the story of a family of African-Americans who have lived for many years on a Southern offshore island, and of how they come together one day in 1902 to celebrate their ancestors before some of them leave for the North. The film is narrated by a child not yet born, and ancestors already dead also seem to be as present as the living.The Guardian gives it a 5 out of 5 stars and calls it "a mysterious, fabular and sometimes dreamlike film with its own theatrical poise." Rotten Tomatoes has a critics consensus score of 94%.
The film doesn't tell a story in any conventional sense. It tells of feelings.