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Seahorse
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Seahorse
IDFA 2020

Seahorse

Nele Dehnenkamp
Germany, Gabon
2020
16 min
International Premiere
Festival history

Five years ago, Hanan would never have dreamed that she would now be a swimming teacher. Fleeing IS from northern Iraq, in 2015 she crossed the Mediterranean with her family in a rubber dinghy. The boat filled with water, and Hanan couldn’t swim.

She has an instant understanding with children who are afraid of water. Images of the vast blue sea and the fear of drowning are etched into her memory. Now living in Wolfsburg, Germany, she’s determined to have her younger brother learn to swim before his painful memories of the water rise to the surface, she says in an on-camera interview, as we follow her timid brother in the pool.

The seahorse in the title refers not only to the creature that remains upright in the water, but also to the area of our brain, the hippocampus, where our memories are stored. This balanced documentary shows how water can take on a new meaning over time, and how swimming has become Hanan’s way of coping with trauma.

Credits
Director
Production
    Nele Dehnenkamp for Film Academy Baden-Wuerttemberg,
    Christine Duttlinger for Film Academy Baden-Wuerttemberg
    Nele Dehnenkamp for Film Academy Baden-Wuerttemberg,
    Christine Duttlinger for Film Academy Baden-Wuerttemberg
Cinematography
    Tobias Winkel,
    Sina Diehl
    Tobias Winkel,
    Sina Diehl
Editing
    Jana Briesner
    Jana Briesner
Sound
    Johann Meis,
    Simon Droessler
    Johann Meis,
    Simon Droessler
Sound Design
Music
    Paul Chriske
    Paul Chriske
Screening copy
    Film Academy Baden-Wuerttemberg
    Film Academy Baden-Wuerttemberg
World Sales
    Film Academy Baden-Wuerttemberg
    Film Academy Baden-Wuerttemberg

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