“I have learned to swim on dry land. It turns out to be better than doing it in the water. There is no fear of sinking because you are already at the bottom, and by the same logic, you are already drowned beforehand.”
And the Sea Will Talk to You is a film set in a dark space where the audience is invited to sit on inner tubes to have the experience of being in the rafts used by Cubans in their attempt to emigrate to the United States. In the film, Coco Fusco weaves sombre yet hopeful accounts of journeys, intermittently juxtaposed with a woman’s description of her attempt to bring her mother’s ashes back to Cuba from the United States. The mise en scène, the vertiginous images of the Caribbean Sea and sky, and the pace and tension of the accounts in the film provide a metonymic experience for the viewers who are unexpectedly transposed to the journeys themselves.
Politically, the subject of the film is particularly relevant in the United Kingdom as the country deals with the growing numbers of illegal immigration in Calais and the escalation of the European emigration crisis in the South of the continent, as well as the domestic debate on potential restrictions to free movement within the European Union. From a much more personal perspective, And the Sea Will Talk to You presents the viewer with as close an experience as is possible of both the motivations behind the decision to leave one’s own country as well as the actual life-threatening ordeal of emigration.