Sailing A Sinking Sea

A film by Olivia Wyatt with Bitchin' Bajas, Dublab & Discostan

Thursday, April 21, 2016 - 8:30pm

Sailing a Sinking Sea - underwater


Reservations $20 ($18 Current VPES Members) available at:

-Advance Reservations Strongly Recommended -

As of April 19, 2016 this event is SOLD OUT  - No tickets will be available at the door.

Doors will open at 8pm, Event begins at 8:30 pm

Musical Presence by Bitchin Bajas, Frosty, and Arshia Haq (DISCOSTAN)

This event is presented by Drag City and Dublab.

Sailing A Sinking Sea is a feature-length experimental documentary by Olivia Wyatt exploring the culture of the Moken people of Burma and Thailand. The Moken are a seafaring community, traditionally spending eight months out of the year in thatch-roofed wooden boats. Sailing A Sinking Sea weaves a visual and aural tapestry of Moken mythologies and present-day practices. As a viewer you will swim under the sea past fishes and mermaids, sail boats across turquoise waters, land on 13 different islands, step inside sea shanties on stilts, dance between lovers and emerge drenched in Moken mythology.

The film is scored by Bitchin Bajas (Drag City). Bitchin Bajas create meditative textured compositions, blending acoustic and electronic instruments over rhythmic pulses and drones. Bitchin Bajas will be performing live following the film. 

Olivia Wyatt is an award-winning filmmaker and photographer based in Los Angeles. She is a member of the Sublime Frequencies film and music collective and has directed, produced, shot and edited three feature-length documentaries, Staring into the Sun (2011), The Pierced Heart & The Machete (2013), and Sailing A Sinking Sea (2015). She also has a series of shorts out alongside a vinyl LP by Bitchin Bajas called Vibraquatic (2012) and was one of the creators of the film Below the Brain (2011). Sailing A Sinking Sea premiered at SXSW in 2015 and went on to play Hot Docs, BFI London, Margaret Mead and recently won the Audience Choice Award at the Singapore International Film Festival.





"We move and move head north and head south and so on. We always move." It is the Andaman sea, not the shores its turquoise waters touch, that the Moken consider home. Prior to the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004 the Moken were predominantly nomadic, living in homemade wooden houseboats and flowing with the water wherever the spirit moved them. They were self-sustainable and sailed onto land only to forage or seek a temporary respite from the watery chaos created by the monsoon season. The Moken were also unbound by invisible territorial lines drawn onto a body which never sits still, flows internationally and pledges allegiance to no one. Their way of life is so symbiotic with this vital force of nature that almost every single Moken survived the tsunami of 2004, thanks to premonitions from their shamans and ancestral wisdom gained from generations of living intimately with the sea. It was because of the tsunami that the world even noticed the Moken -- in its wake, the Moken have come under pressure to assimilate into the mainstream. Present influences impacting their culture include religious, governmental, non-governmental organizations and the commercial fishing industry. Now numbering less than 3,000, forced to stay on islands year round, and allowed to fish only within limits, the Moken culture is evaporating and along with it, their vast wisdom of the sea."

- Olivia Wyatt for the Margaret Mead Festival