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Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival 2017


Berwick Film and Media Arts Festival 2017


Cláudia Varejão’s beautiful film Ama-San is a poetic depiction of this fading ancient profession. Film’s minimal, Japanesque style leaves enough room for the women, who are mostly in their fifties. It captures the simple, but tiresome work that they do, clad in a wetsuit and scarf, carrying only a knife. They live a contrasted life dividing their time between the mundane everyday of the shore and the silent mysteries of the deep. It is a rough trade, but there’s certain charm to it. And it has nothing to do with the silver screen fairy-tales seen in the James Bond film You only live twice (1967).

Like the sea, Varejão’s document alternates between the serene and the storm. Like a gust of salty sea wind, her film carries us away from the dark theatre, gently rocks us on the waves, safely afloat. Hours later, you can still taste the sea on your skin.
Director: Cláudia Varejão
Year: 2016
Country: Portugal | Japan
Language: Japanese with English subtitles
The Maltings Theatre & Cinema is operated by The Maltings (Berwick) Trust Registered Charity No: 701194