Aquaria

Synopsis

“Aquaria” is about the protagonist’s journey to find out who she truly is. She lives in a parallel “fairytale” world. She is a hybrid of human and fish. This hybrid existence is something the director can personally identify with because she’s half Brazilian and half German. The question of belonging and cultural identity has occupied her mind for a long time.

This video is based on the fairy tale “The Pond Aquarius”. By using central images of this story such as Aquarius (Neptune), Mermaids (in the story they are described as half human and half fish) and fish, a new narrative was created.

The fish are especially essential to this film. They represent the state of the protagonist’s journey of self-discovering. First we see the sculpture of a fish (made of stone). This image represents the protagonist’s state of mind. She feels trapped, unable to live her truth, to reach her full potential. She is literally petrified inside. She gently touches this sculpture, which means she finally recognizes that she can’t continue like this. She is ready for this journey. Then we see a dead fish which is also a key to another world. This is a metaphor for rebirth. The new world is scary. But sometimes we have to take risks and fight fears to become the person we really are. Eventually she has a vision of fish swimming merrily in circles and this makes us understand that she feels that she is on the right path to becoming herself, perhaps she has even found the parts of her identity she was looking for. It’s an open ending. Because just like in real life, the journey to discover who we really are never ends. It is a constant search.

Review

4/5
An experimental fantasy about a woman’s identity.
Written and directed by Julia Obst, ‘Aquaria’ is an experimental fantasy short that follows a woman’s struggle with her identity – she is blend of human and fish. The film is entirely without dialogue and constructed by various metaphorical shots. Julia Obst (Writer/Director) stars as the titled character with a brief appearance by Keana Korn (Lady of the Fountain). ‘Aquaria’ is a stunning poetic work of art, albeit experimental in narrative.

The 4-minute film opens with a melancholic Aquaria, her weep emotions mirror her surroundings – a water fountain and a stone sculpture of a fish. Julia Obst’s portrayal is highly captivating and deeply moving – her emotional pain is easily felt by the audience. A particularly poignant scene is when Aquaria removes her white gloves to touch a deceased fish – a strong catalyst to accepting and embracing her identity. The film ends with goldfish swimming persistently in circles – symbolic to the never-ending fight to discover oneself.

Aquaria Film
Julia Obst and her cast/crew have delivered an insightful film that has an important message. Cinematography by Adele Perrin is especially praiseworthy as is the ambient mystical music throughout – both aid the narrative flawlessly. We recommend watching ‘Aquaria’ more than once as it is layered with clever metaphors. A beautiful made experimental short.

Cast/Crew

Director(s): Julia Obst
Writer(s): Julia Obst
Cast: Julia Obst, Keana Korn
Producer(s): Julia Obst, Leo Kuelbs
Director of Photography: Adele Perrin
Editor(s):
Animation:
Sound:
Music:
Miscellaneous:

Specifications

Genre: Experimental, Fantasy
Subjects: Art, Exploration, Identity
Country: Germany
Year: 2021
Published in March 2022

Recommended

Cast/Crew

Director(s): Julia Obst
Writer(s): Julia Obst
Cast: Julia Obst, Keana Korn
Producer(s): Julia Obst, Leo Kuelbs
Director of Photography: Adele Perrin
Editor(s):
Animation:
Sound:
Music:
Miscellaneous:

Specifcations

Genre: Experimental, Fantasy
Subjects: Art, Exploration, Identity
Country: Germany
Year: 2021
Collections:

Recommended

Aquaria

Synopsis

“Aquaria” is about the protagonist’s journey to find out who she truly is. She lives in a parallel “fairytale” world. She is a hybrid of human and fish. This hybrid existence is something the director can personally identify with because she’s half Brazilian and half German. The question of belonging and cultural identity has occupied her mind for a long time.

This video is based on the fairy tale “The Pond Aquarius”. By using central images of this story such as Aquarius (Neptune), Mermaids (in the story they are described as half human and half fish) and fish, a new narrative was created.

The fish are especially essential to this film. They represent the state of the protagonist’s journey of self-discovering. First we see the sculpture of a fish (made of stone). This image represents the protagonist’s state of mind. She feels trapped, unable to live her truth, to reach her full potential. She is literally petrified inside. She gently touches this sculpture, which means she finally recognizes that she can’t continue like this. She is ready for this journey. Then we see a dead fish which is also a key to another world. This is a metaphor for rebirth. The new world is scary. But sometimes we have to take risks and fight fears to become the person we really are. Eventually she has a vision of fish swimming merrily in circles and this makes us understand that she feels that she is on the right path to becoming herself, perhaps she has even found the parts of her identity she was looking for. It’s an open ending. Because just like in real life, the journey to discover who we really are never ends. It is a constant search.

Review

An experimental fantasy about a woman's identity.

4/5
Written and directed by Julia Obst, ‘Aquaria’ is an experimental fantasy short that follows a woman’s struggle with her identity – she is blend of human and fish. The film is entirely without dialogue and constructed by various metaphorical shots. Julia Obst (Writer/Director) stars as the titled character with a brief appearance by Keana Korn (Lady of the Fountain). ‘Aquaria’ is a stunning poetic work of art, albeit experimental in narrative.

The 4-minute film opens with a melancholic Aquaria, her weep emotions mirror her surroundings – a water fountain and a stone sculpture of a fish. Julia Obst’s portrayal is highly captivating and deeply moving – her emotional pain is easily felt by the audience. A particularly poignant scene is when Aquaria removes her white gloves to touch a deceased fish – a strong catalyst to accepting and embracing her identity. The film ends with goldfish swimming persistently in circles – symbolic to the never-ending fight to discover oneself.

Aquaria Film
Julia Obst and her cast/crew have delivered an insightful film that has an important message. Cinematography by Adele Perrin is especially praiseworthy as is the ambient mystical music throughout – both aid the narrative flawlessly. We recommend watching ‘Aquaria’ more than once as it is layered with clever metaphors. A beautiful made experimental short.

Recommended

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