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Through the three films made by Rossella Piccinno, Sabine Massenet and Valéry Grancher, the question is raised of the place and origin of the people on board. In Dunkirk, Rossella Piccinno filmed the delicate operation of hauling the large Korean ship “Hanjin Rizhao”. This involved moving it from one quay to another to unload the minerals on board, a dizzy-making operation. Faced with this gigantic thing, the words she picked up from the crew and the people steering and surrounding that controlled movement feed the subtle soundtrack. The instructions for the manoeuvres and the gestures reinstate the human presence, like breathing, snippets of conversations and echoes. Sabine Massenet questioned mariners making a very short call at Port-de-Bouc and their temporary reception centre, before taking to the sea again. We learn that calls in ports are becoming ever shorter, resulting in keeping the mariners for ever longer periods at sea, isolated, cut off from the rest of the world, and living in a state of autarky. Philippine sailors spend the longest periods at sea, and we hear a short report from them in Rossella Piccinno’s film. Their conditions may be the hardest, but they are still excellent comrades for the rest of the crew, concerned about the other members and the soul of night-time parties. The film reveals sailors’ faces posing quietly in front of a wall of mariners’ identity photos. Their  engaging presence is clear to see. Valéry Grancher’s film shows the faces of men, women and children contrasting with the two other almost exclusively male worlds. But they are faces and bodies that are hard to look at. They are not sailors, and they are not travelling for pleasure. These refugees, who have left their homeland for tragic economic and political reasons are now struggling to survive, in a hostile environment, on makeshift boats offering little safety. These boats are so ridiculous compared with the mammoth vessels plying the oceans which sometimes cross their path, some of them saving the migrants from dire perils. Valéry Grancher has put together films from different sources, in a sort of relentless statement, thus displaying the extent of this humanitarian crisis forcing people into exile, and struggling to raise awareness about it.

Rossella Piccinno

Déhalage

2014, 28 mn 48

Production : La Plateforme, Dunkerque

The hauling of a ship is the operation consisting in changing its position (along a quay) using hawsers. This film records the hauling of the large Korean ship “Hanjin Rizhao”, laded with ore from Dunkirk’s West port to the East port. “Hauling” involves a minimal and psychedelic voyage which takes the viewer to the heart of that complex industrial microcosm, a space where the human factor, nature, and portscape invite us to think about the complicated weft of these relations. RP.

Sabine Massenet

I am a seaman

2016, 43 mn

Production : GREC

Salengro avenue in Port-de-Bouc is a quiet street where few people wander. Yet, every evening, at number 35, dozens of men, all from far-away countries, gather for a drink and a few hours of relaxation. What used to be known as the brothel “Beausoleil” has now become a Seafarers’ Centre for the seamen who work on the tankers, bulk carriers, chemical tankers and container-ships which dock in the industrial zone of Fos-sur-Mer. SM

Valery Grancher

Exodus

2015-16, 14 mn 53

This is a video from the mix of different online video footages from youtube concerning the refugees crisis in mediterranean sea. The concept is not to record myself these video footages as I’m using to do, but to work as a « VJ » from different online ressources such like mobile phone videos produced by the refugees themselves or from different media focusing this matter and topic. There is a huge volume of media about this exodus, it appears to me very interesting to work on them as we should work on archives... VG

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