Review by Camden Ferrell
She is the Ocean is a documentary that most recently played at the San Diego International Film Festival back in 2019. It is directed by Inna Blokhina. While the documentary focuses on several unique and talented women, it ultimately doesn’t flow well together and creates a documentary that struggles the find footing.
In this documentary, we explore the lives of nine women, ranging from surfers to divers and to biologists. We learn about each of their own experiences with the ocean and how it has impacted their lives. This is a really interesting premise that features an exceptional group of women, but it’s a shame a lot of the promise of this film was squandered.
The main problem with the film is that it doesn’t have a natural momentum between the different subjects, and it often finds itself abruptly shifting its tone and pace, and it can become rather off putting. The film has a common theme that unites these stories, but it still doesn’t do enough to connect these stories narratively in order to create a captivating exploration of the ocean.
The strongest aspect of this movie comes from its subjects. We learn about the exploits of Cinta Hansel, Coco Ho, Keala Kennelly, Andrea Moller, Anna Bader, Rose Molina, Ocean Ramsey, Jeannie Chesser, Sylvia Earle. There’s obviously a lot of talent that I would not be able to adequately cover it in this review, but suffice it to say, they are extraordinary women in interesting fields. Their exploits in each of their respective profession is exciting, but unfortunately, it can’t save the film.
The film creates parallels between the power of the ocean and the power of women, and it’s a great message that doesn’t get the best execution. The cinematography is great and it’s educational at times, but the movie comes off as bland and fairly uninspired throughout.
She is the Ocean may appeal to those interested in ocean sports and the ocean in general, but otherwise, it might not do much for you. It has a great set of subjects, but it not particularly entertaining, and it is a disappointing documentary in the end.
She is the Ocean is currently playing in virtual cinemas. A list of participating theaters can be found here.