The Sailor

  • Giovanni Giaretta
  • Netherlands, Italy
  • 2017
  • 9 min
  • Paradocs: Amsterdam Art Weekend at IDFA
The artificial language Na'vi was made up specially for the science fiction film Avatar (2009). It had to be easy for the actors to pronounce, but not resemble any existing language at all. In The Sailor, the voice-over tells the story—in Na'vi—of a sailor who is stranded on an uninhabited island. To avoid succumbing completely to melancholy, he dreams up an alternative world—an imaginary past. But his creation becomes so convincing that when he tries to remember his actual origins, the images escape him. And the same thing happens to us: the amorphous images, which at first seem to be illustrations of a landscape, lose their concrete properties and meaning. French philosopher Michel Foucault argued that things come into existence only when there's a word for them. But there's a thin line between what we see and what we describe. As soon as words become lyrically estranged from reality, we find ourselves in an undefined interzone—an uninhabitable island.


  • 9 min
  • color
  • DCP
Giovanni Giaretta
Studio Giovanni Giaretta
Giovanni Giaretta
Giovanni Giaretta

IDFA history

Paradocs: Amsterdam Art Weekend at IDFA

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