Blue (2019) is a short experimental film by Laura Magnusson, shot entirely underwater, 70 feet beneath the surface of Cozumel,... Read More
Blue (2019) is a short experimental film by Laura Magnusson, shot entirely underwater, 70 feet beneath the surface of Cozumel, Mexico. It seeks to elucidate the psychological and emotional impacts of trauma resulting from sexual violence. It is autobiographical, informed by the director’s own journey as a survivor. Blue has been presented as a looped video installation, projected onto the gallery wall on a scale of 16 wide by 9 feet high. It has also screened at festivals as a film, 12 minutes in duration.
Alone on an ocean “tundra,” wearing a protective clamshell-like parka and winter boots, a woman (Magnusson) arduously moves, exhales, and burrows through the afterlife of sexual violence. The medium of water, with its destructive potential and capacity to heal, in addition to the weight of an air tank, with its promise of survival and threat of impending emptiness, hold the fullness of traumatic experience. In this silent, psychic landscape, she bears witness to the complex nature of trauma and the ongoing process of healing.
Blue is the impact statement that the director was not permitted to give before the law. In this visual testimony, metaphor and somatic expression become her voice. The screen becomes a proxy for Magnusson and her body. The viewing environment becomes a site for her testimony to be delivered and publicly witnessed.