Vanishing Pearls: The Oystermen of Pointe à la Hache + Narcosis+ Haenyeo: Women of the Sea

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Vanishing Pearls: The Oystermen of Pointe à la Hache + Narcosis+ Haenyeo: Women of the Sea


Saturday Jun 07 10:00 AM


Doris Duke Theatre


Museum members: $8.00
General Admission: $10.00


About the Film:

Part of World Oceans Day Hawai‘i 2014.

Hawai'i Premiere:
Vanishing Pearls: The Oystermen of Pointe à la Hache 
Directed by Nailah Jefferson. 2013. USA. 80 mins
Released to coincide with the fourth anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, this paradise-lost story chronicles the ongoing environmental struggle between multinational oil and gas company BP and a small Louisiana Gulf community dependent on oyster fishing. For more than a century, the people of Pointe à la Hache, Louisiana have survived by fishing the plentiful Gulf waters. Over time, the powerful oil and gas industry has threatened this small, tight knit community’s way of life, culminating with the 2010 oil spill disaster. Told from the point of view of third-generation oysterman Byron Encalade, we learn how a once prolific fishing community has nearly vanished.

Presented by From the Bow Seat.

For New Orleans–based producer-director Nailah Jefferson, making the film affected him in a profound way: “I am awestruck by the fact that a community 55 miles away from my front door step that defines and sustains my identity as a New Orleanian was completely unknown and foreign to me. With films and storytelling, we can shed light in dark places—and those dark places aren’t particularly in farthest reaches or various, exotic ports of call. They are often in our own backyard and next door.”

Watch the trailer.

—screens with—

Directed by Julie Gautier. 2013. France. 14 mins.
Deep-water freediving exposes its practitioners to a form of narcosis, which induces several symptoms, including a feeling of euphoria and levity that is known as “raptures of the deep.” This short film relates the interior journey of Guillaume 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.

Special Guest: Martin Stepanek will lead a Q+A following the screening 
Freediving pioneer Martin Stepanek has plunged depths never before reached—more than 400 feet on a single breath of air. He claimed his first freediving world record in 2001, and has set over 13 world records thus far in his competitive career. Martin's passion for physiology and sports biology led him to work closely with top researchers from such universities as Harvard and the Karolynski Institute of Sweden to uncover some of his sport’s physiological mysteries. His participation in this ongoing research has helped scientists better understand the impact that depth and pressure have on the freediver.

To improve the effectiveness and safety of freediving education, Martin started his own freedive training agency, Freediving Instructors International. FII is paving the way of modern freediving education and is now the largest freediving training agency in the United States with worldwide reach. Martin has trained some of the world's most elite watermen athletes utilizing the FII system with notable clients such as the Crown Prince of Dubai and big-wave surfer Garrett McNamara.

—screens with—

Haenyeo: Women of the Sea
Directed by Kevin Sawicki & Alex Igidbashian. 2013. United States. 12 mins.
Haenyeo are the women free-divers of South Korea’s Jeju Island, who for centuries have collected seafood without the use of scuba equipment. This short documentary profiles Chuwar Park, an unbelievable vibrant diver still active at the age of 82. Examining her daily routine as well as her past, Park sheds light on this matriarchal culture that has changed little since the 19th century. 

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