(2004, UK, 78 mins)
For then first-timer Jason Massot, the impulse to make this poignant feature-length examination on the solitary, transient lives of merchant seamen was a desire to examine male solitude and transience. His self-funded DV documentary follows four seamen (a Swede, a Croat, a Polynesian and a Nigerian) as they wait in Rotterdam, the world’s largest port, to return to the sea. While each finds himself there for a different reason, all share a world and profession that exerts enormous emotional, relational and economic pressures on them. On the cutting edge of globalisation, with their wages forever in danger of being slashed, they exist in a limbo of often deep loss, be it of home, family, female contact, or even identity. Massot watches quietly as they wait to move on, building the film distinctively from the ‘downtime’ rhythms of the mariners’ days and circling thoughts. It’s effectively accompanied by the guitar of Will Oldham, his ambient acoustic score giving a melancholy music to the echoing halls and empty reaches of the docks and ‘placeless’ industrial zones.
At the time of the screening, this film had not yet been classified by the BBFC.
This screening took place on 11 June 2016. Tickets are no longer available.
Book tickets: £5 (£4 concessions).
Whitstable Biennale Film Pass: £15 (£10 concessions).