~ Poet: María Papi ~

La Caracola / The Conch by María Papi

This film by Argentinian María Papi had its premiere at the 2015 Berlin Feminist Film Week. The description on Vimeo notes that it

explores the movement of intrinsic relations between two presences that give rise to life: Water and Vulva. By exposing what is hidden, the harmony of femininity is restored.

It is powerful, as well as vulnerable and touching, to see genitalia on screen without pornographic intent. That said, this is probably not content suitable for classroom use in public school.

Papi’s approach seems personal and subjective most of all, with secondary thoughts about female gender and sexuality in general. We particularly liked the starkness of the text, just singular words. Marie felt that this underscores the film’s focus: more on body than intellect. The soundtrack is interesting as well, crafting different textures from the sound of water. These seem to speak to the visuals when they become purely abstract and textural themselves. The rhythm is slow, almost contemplative, possibly reflecting the pleasant feelings experienced while filming herself naked in a river, as described in an interview with Papi about the making of the film in CinéWomen, where it was the International Selection for 2015-2016. (We’d excerpt it, but Scribd doesn’t permit copy-and-paste, so you’ll just have to click through — or, if you read Spanish, check out the translation of the interview on Papi’s blog.)

See Vimeo for the full credits list.