Art can stir and move in inexplicable ways. A short film directed and performed by underwater filmmaker Julie Gautier is doing just that. Titled AMA, it depicts uninterrupted and stunningly fluid movements of Gautier performed underwater in the world’s deepest pool near Venice, Italy. Gautier’s movements are haunting and evocative as she holds her breath and performs the movement with remarkable grace.
According to a report in Feel Desain, the short film is named after a Japanese word for “woman of the sea” that also happens to be name of for Japan’s traditional shell collectors. The report concludes that the film acknowledges those women and at the same time also represents the unsaid bond that ties women worldwide.
Gautier has provided no explanation for the meaning of the word ‘Ama”. She has only said, “It tells a story everyone can interpret in their own way, based on their own experience. There is no imposition, only suggestion.” She holds her breath and performing and maintains she wanted to share her biggest pain in this life with the film. Gautier released the film on International Women’s day and was very clear that it was for all women across the world. The film ends with a note of dedication to her “tiniest daughter” and must be seen to be believed.
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The film begins with Gautier standing under heavy rain and as the camera zooms on her face and then pans on her body, she slowly rises and then one understands that she is no longer on the ground. Within moments she is inside the pool, one with the water.