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Joining with his shadow, the first god creates himself, the progenitor of humanity. This surrealistic film intermixes stop motion animation, time lapse photography, and live action sequences to re-imagine one of the paradigmatic creation myths recorded in antiquity.

Director's Bio

Emma Penaz Eisner is an independent filmmaker and visual artist from San Francisco. She has created short films and moving image art that have screened worldwide in galleries and at over 200 international film festivals. Earning more than 50 awards, her work is in experimental filmmaking, live action combined with animation, and stop motion animation.

Director's Statement

In this film, I created a visual interpretation and re-telling of the human origin story from ancient times. I drew my ideas from Jungian theory, specifically Erich Neumann’s "The Origins and History of Consciousness," which proposes that an individual’s psychological development mirrors the trajectory of human development as told in mythological creation stories. Neumann's work details the similarities between many ancient creation myths and suggests that these myths are similar across cultures because they reflect a story we all unconsciously know. In my work, I am generally interested in bringing unconscious knowledge into awareness, and for this film in particular, I used the Heliopolitan creation myth, in which the god Atum creates himself, to tell a universal creation story known unconsciously by all people. I relied on certain symbols to do that: the ouroboros, or self-eating snake; the shadow self; images of consumption and travel through flesh; greenery and fruit; and the beauty of the newborn infant. These are symbols that, as Neumann would suggest, we all understand; we know their meaning in an intuitive manner, through transmission of anciently held knowledge on an unconscious level.
Emma Penaz Eisner
Emma Penaz Eisner
Emma Penaz Eisner
4 Minutes
1/24/20 1:00pm at Cité des Arts
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