Rock Bottom Riser

  • 70'
  • USA
  • 2021

Halfway through this experimental mosaic bursting with unexpected associations, the teacher in a poetry workshop plays a number by Simon & Garfunkel. “I am a rock, I am an island”, the lyrics go. This is no coincidence, as Fern Silva – a film artist who works a lot with 16mm – has set his first feature-length production in Hawaii. From this island in the ocean, he considers our planet and its position in the universe. Large telescopes have been erected on Mauna Kea, leading to protests from the indigenous population, who consider the island’s peaks sacred.

It was the holy mountain as a symbol of resistance that prompted Silva to make this filmic essay. He casts his net wide – from astronomy to history and island culture – and makes use of a broad range of documentary, fiction and animation techniques to investigate the colonial impact on the island, capturing everything from early seafarers navigating by the stars to Christian preachers to an academic seminar. All embedded in overwhelming images of lava flow, immense seas and starry skies.

Director
Fern Silva
Country of production
USA
Production Year
2021
Festival Edition
IFFR 2021
Length
70'
Medium
DCP
Language
English
Producer
Fern Silva
Sales
Fern Silva
Cinematography
Fern Silva
Editor
Fern Silva
Sound Design
Fern Silva
Music
Sergei Tcherepnin, Lea Bertucci
Website
http://www.fernsilva.com/