Ama-San review – a deep dive into Japan's fisherwomen culture

Published on May 17, 2019

Cláudia Varejão’s camera embark’s on an enigmatic and occasionally baffling study of a hypnotic world

The ama are Japan’s fisherwomen, free divers who retrieve abalone, sea snails and other ocean products (they’re best known for their pearl fishing) out of the shallows without using oxygen tanks. Portuguese documentarian Cláudia Varejão immerses herself in the daily rhythms and rituals of one group, filming them at home and at work as they go about raising kids, singing karaoke and swimming to the bottom of the sea.

Made in the low-key, vérité style associated with directors such as Fred Wiseman, Varejao favours an austere approach that relies on long, unblinking takes, uses no music that doesn’t occur within the action itself and no subtitles that clarify who’s who. Indeed, there are no explanations at all, leaving the viewer to work out why, for instance, the women wear

Read full article at: The Guardian - Film News

Author: Leslie Felperin