IDFA - How to Meet a Mermaid

In an essay-like reflection on the beauty and destructive power of the ocean, filmmaker Coco Schrijber investigates the disappearance of her brother.

Lex Schrijber went on a diving trip to Egypt in October 2000, but he never returned. His shoes, clothes and diver’s knife were found – stacked neatly – on a Red Sea beach. A diver never dives without his knife, and this fact alone was proof enough to filmmaker Coco Schrijber that her brother had made a fateful decision that day. Fifteen years later, she returns to the place where Lex was last seen, to find out why he disappeared and whether there were witnesses to his final hours.

As in her previous work (including First Kill and Bloody Mondays & Strawberry Pies), Schrijber takes a multilayered, essay-like approach complemented by a lavish soundtrack, with the sea both alluring and  repelling. Scenes of her search are juxtaposed with gorgeous seascapes that capture both the beauty and the destructive power of the ocean. She broadens the narrative from the personal perspective on Lex’s story by connecting it with the tales of Mexican surfer Miguel as he prepares his flight across the ocean, and the tragedy surrounding Rebecca, who disappeared from a cruise ship.

(idfa)