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Ultramarine: Ama-San

This programme contains 2 films.

In-Person screening

Maltings Main House
21 September 2017, 19:00 – 21:04

A dive, the midday sunlight filtering down through the water. The air in her lungs has to last until she can dislodge the abalone. Dives like these have been carried out in Japan for over 2000 years by the Ama-San, that literally translates “women of the sea”.

In this Programme:

Date: 2022-09-28 11:26:08
ID: 4770
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TRAILER

Director

Production Year

2017

Duration

1 mins

Date: 2022-09-28 11:26:08
ID: 4771
Online:
Open: 1
Geo:
VOD: no
hide: 1

Ama-San

In Wagu, a fishing village on the Ise Peninsula, Matsumi, Mayumi and Masumi dive everyday not knowing what they’ll find. Underwater, their delicate bodies turn into those of sea hunters. The Ama-San have been diving like this for over 2000 years. There’s both extraordinary strength and glowing merriment at the heart of Ama-San. The film’s gentle style and gorgeous cinematography describes a community of women—the oldest of whom is pushing into her 80s—with much singing, conversation and riotous laughter.

A film of intimate beauty, Cláudia Varejão’s Ama-San depicts three generations of Ama—Matsumi, Mayumi and Masumi. Women from the Ise peninsula in Japan, they continue a 2000 year old tradition, free-diving for pearls, abalone and shell-fish. Harvesting their catch with a knife, and recognisable by the white linen scarves protecting their heads from the sun, this a world away from the industrial scale fishing we’re familiar with seeing portrayed on screen.

With breathtaking underwater sequences at sea, combining with the warm light of home and dockside camaraderie, there’s both extraordinary strength and glowing merriment at the heart of Ama-San. The film’s gentle style and gorgeous cinematography describes a community of women—the oldest of whom is pushing into her 80s—with much singing, conversation and riotous laughter.

Director

Cláudia Varejão

Production Countries

Japan Portugal

Production Year

2016

Duration

113 mins

Dialogue Language

Japanese

Subtitle Language

English

Print Contact

Pedro Peralta