sea woman

September 4, 2020

For hundreds of years, the Haenyeo –– sea women — of Jeju Island have fed their families with food that they have harvested from the ocean. In this poignant film, Hawaii-based professional freediver, Kimi Werner invites us into a sisterhood, buoyed by tradition, community and the waters that surrounds them. “These women, they are known to have gone diving throughout their whole nine months of pregnancy, going into labour right on the water, having babies on the boat and continuing to dive after becoming a Mom,” says Werner, six months pregnant herself while shooting the film. “They kind of became this symbol of strength and resilience, and providers.” With no oxygen mask, the women freedive deep into the ocean to harvest horned conch, octopus and abalone. It’s mesmerizing to watch. Their life is humble, but meaningful. “I see their skin that’s been weathered by the ocean, that’s been tanned and wrinkled. I see a sisterhood of support and love. I see a vision of what real beauty means to me….I see the woman I want to be.”

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