Narcisse (2022 U.S. Premiere), One Breath Around the World (2019), Ama (2018), Narcose (2014)
Four short films by Julie Gautier, followed by a discussion and Q&A with director Julie Gautier and Gabri Christa, moderated by Shanny Peer
In One Breath Around the World, French free-diving champions Julie Gautier and Guillaume Néry take viewers on an underwater odyssey across the globe. Shooting underwater in locations from Mauritius to Mexico to Japan, Néry and Gautier explore submerged ruins, swim beneath a thick sheet of ice, and mingle with a pod of sleeping sperm whales. They capture mesmerizing images of parts of the planet unseen by most of its human inhabitants. In Ama, Julie Gautier performs and directs a captivating underwater dance solo, that is intended to honor the strength, suffering, and resiliency of women. Narcisseis a beautiful cinematic illusion and a contemporary interpretation of a classic myth about how ego is leading humanity to drown in its own image. In Narcose, Gautier and Guillaume Néry relate the interior journey of Néry, the apnea world champion, during one of his deep water dives. It draws its inspiration from his physical experience and the narrative of his hallucinations induced by free diving.
Julie Gautier is a free diver, choreographer, dancer, and filmmaker. Gautier was born on Réunion Island, surrounded by the Indian Ocean, daughter to a free diver and spearfisher father, and a mother who taught dance. In 2006, she broke the French female record for the deepest free dive, plunging unassisted to a depth of 65 meters, and then broke her own record, diving to 68 meters. She began directing short films shot underwater in 2014. Her objective is to combine her artistry and diving experience to raise awareness about the ocean, showing its wildest and most amazing side.
Gabri Christa is an Associate Professor of Professional Practice in the Department of Dance and the director of the Movement Lab at Barnard. She hails from Curaçao, Dutch Caribbean – where she grew up windsurfing, diving and snorkeling – and has worked as a choreographer and dancer with companies such as Danza Contemporanea de Cuba, DanzAbierta and the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company. Christa is also an award-winning filmmaker and the founding director of the Moving Image Moving Body Festival, a biennial social justice topics festival, which will focus on Climate Justice and the moving body on Screen in its 2024 edition.
Shanny Peer is the Director of the Columbia Maison Française and holds a Ph.D. in French Studies from NYU. She is a co-curator of the Being in the World film festival.
This screening is part of Being in the World: People and the Planet in French and Francophone Cinema, a film festival curated and presented by Columbia Maison Française, with additional support provided by Cultural Services of the French Embassy, Columbia Climate School, Knapp Family Foundation, Paul LeClerc Centennial Fund, Columbia University Institute for Ideas and Imagination, Columbia Global Centers | Paris, Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities, Alliance Program, and European Institute.
This screening is also co-sponsored by the Department of Dance at Barnard College.