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Being in the World: Narcisse and three short films by Julie Gautier

Climate Series, Being in the World Film Festival

dateSeptember 30, 2022 timeFriday, 7:00pm–8:30pm EDT location Horace Mann Hall, Cowin Auditorium (Room 147), Teachers College
  • The Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities
  • Cultural Services of the French Embassy
  • Columbia Climate School
  • University Institute for Ideas and Imagination
  • Columbia Global Centers | Paris
  • Alliance Program
  • European Institute
  • Knapp Family Foundation
  • Maison Française
email address [email protected]
  • Free and open to the public
  • Registration required. See details.

A screening of four short films by Julie Gautier followed by a discussion and Q&A with director Julie Gautier and Gabri Christa, moderated by Shanny Peer.

Four short films by Julie Gautier: Narcisse (2022 US PREMIERE), One Breath Around the World (2019), Ama (2018), and Narcose (2014)

Films in French and other languages with English subtitles.

In One Breath Around the World, French free-diving champions Julie Gautier and Guillaume Néry take viewers on an underwater odyssey across the globe. Shooting underwater in locations from Mauritius to Mexico to Japan, Néry and Gautier explore submerged ruins, swim beneath a thick sheet of ice, and mingle with a pod of sleeping sperm whales. They capture mesmerizing images of parts of the planet unseen by most of its human inhabitants. In Ama, Julie Gautier performs and directs a captivating underwater dance solo, that is intended to honor the strength, suffering, and resiliency of women. Narcisseis a beautiful cinematic illusion and a contemporary interpretation of a classic myth about how ego is leading humanity to drown in its own image. In Narcose, Gautier and Guillaume Néry relate the interior journey of Néry, the apnea world champion, during one of his deep water dives. It draws its inspiration from his physical experience and the narrative of his hallucinations induced by free diving.


Julie Gautier is a free diver, choreographer, dancer, and filmmaker. Gautier was born on Réunion Island, surrounded by the Indian Ocean, daughter to a free diver and spearfisher father, and a mother who taught dance. In 2006, she broke the French female record for the deepest free dive, plunging unassisted to a depth of 65 meters, and then broke her own record, diving to 68 meters. She began directing short films shot underwater in 2014. Her objective is to combine her artistry and diving experience to raise awareness about the ocean, showing its wildest and most amazing side.

Gabri Christa is an Associate Professor of Professional Practice in the Department of Dance and the director of the Movement Lab at Barnard. She hails from Curaçao, Dutch Caribbean – where she grew up windsurfing, diving and snorkeling – and has worked as a choreographer and dancer with companies such as Danza Contemporanea de Cuba, DanzAbierta and the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company. Christa is also an award-winning filmmaker and the founding director of the Moving Image Moving Body Festival, a biennial social justice topics festival, which will focus on Climate Justice and the moving body on Screen in its 2024 edition.


Shanny Peer has been Director of the Columbia Maison Française since 2009. She earned a Ph.D. from New York University’s Institute of French Studies in 1992 and taught French Studies for ten years, at the University of Vermont and then NYU, where she was the only non-tenured faculty member to receive a Golden Dozen Award for teaching excellence in 1997. She was then Director of Policy Programs at the French-American Foundation for 8 years and worked briefly at Families and Work Institute on work-family policies before joining Columbia University.

This screening is part of Being in the World: People and the Planet in French and Francophone Cinema, a film festival curated and presented by Columbia Maison Française, with additional support provided by Cultural Services of the French Embassy, Columbia Climate School, Knapp Family Foundation, Paul LeClerc Centennial Fund, Columbia University Institute for Ideas and Imagination, Columbia Global Centers | Paris, Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities, Alliance Program, and European Institute.