“Who By Water” (18 min, DV, 2007)

Film by Bill Morrison
Music composed by Michael Gordon
Performed by the Manhattan School of Music TACTUS Contemporary Ensemble, conducted by Patti Monson
Recorded: February 4, 2006
Source imagery: Fox Movietone Newsreel outtakes, used by arrangement with the University of South Carolina Newsfilm Library.

King Nana Amoah III
Aimee Semple McPherson

The title draws on a passage from the Rosh Hashana service that deals with the fate of the coming year:
“Who shall live, and who shall die; who in his time, and who before his time. Who by water, and who by fire…”

“Who By Water” draws on archival footage in which ship passengers are depicted staring wordlessly into the camera’s lens, through a veil of deteriorating emulsion. We examine these anonymous faces: rich, poor, young, old, celebrated or incidental. In staring back at them, we contemplate our own fate.

Festival appearances:
2007: IFFRotterdam, Tribeca, Hamburg Short IFF, Viennale, Leipzig DOK, Jihlava IFF, 2008: Clermont-Ferrand, Festival de Cinéma des 3 Amérique (Québec)

Awards: Best Film - 2008 Rio de Janeiro International Short Film Festival.

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