On the Backs of Mermaids/Passaj Anba Dlo

Estimated date of completion: Winter 2016

PRODUCED AND DIRECTED BY: Emily McMehen and Geoffrey Sautner


A short film about the passage from life to death in the Vodou faith, On the Backs of Mermaids follows a young Haitian man as his body and his soul are divided by death. A departure from the conceptual/experimental film format that Emily and Geoffrey have been developing in recent years, the script is a narrative short that uses the visually rich and imaginative language of Vodou imagery to describe the different phases of spiritual cleansing and ‘recycling’.

The script features three acts: Life, Death and Passage, and features the Ghede, or spirits of the dead lead by Bawon Samedi as represented by the Ti Moun Rezistans; Lasiren (the Mermaid) and Simbi who carry the spirit of the boy through the Sea of Knowledge for a year and a day to loosen him from the bonds of his living body, and Agwe, the Admiral who ushers the soul back to the land of the living once it has been refreshed. The overall affect is powerfully visual and will feature the eerie blues inspired music of French Canadian independent band Timber Timbre.