Desert Haiku

''Desert Haiku'' is an surrealist narrative designed as a love-poem to the soulful deserts of the American Southwest. It explores the memory of the land through the thread of the creation of life, from the very beginnings of mankind and the days of water, to the deserts that have resulted. Messengers and medicine people, dancers, children and sea creatures cross paths in these ancient landscapes, searching for water - as an apt metaphor for searching for oneself.

  • Marie-Michele Jasmin-Belisle
    Wonder Chamber no 1, Nowa Cumig : The Drum Will Never Stop, Grey Matter, Helix
  • Marie-Michele Jasmin-Belisle
  • Marie-Michele Jasmin-Belisle
  • Sierra Concha
    Key Cast
    Into the West
  • Kirilola
    Key Cast
  • Cloud Face
    Key Cast
  • Randy Boogie
    Key Cast
  • JLeigh
    Key Cast
  • Jennifer Perez
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
    Experimental, Short
  • Genres:
    Film-poem, fantasy, ancient future, surrealist, environmental, dance, music, silent
  • Runtime:
    13 minutes 1 second
  • Completion Date:
    January 1, 2014
  • Production Budget:
    3,500 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Shooting Format:
    HD (Dslr)
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • International Symposium of Electronic Arts
    September 21, 2012
    World Premiere
  • Balinale International Film Festival
    Bali, Indonesia
    October 18, 2014
    Asian premiere
  • Sunscreen West International Film Festival
    Los Angeles, California
    October 18, 2014
    American premiere
  • Water Docs Film Festival
    March 26, 2016
    Canadian Premiere
  • Dança em Foco
    Rio de Janeiro
    June 18, 2016
    South American premiere
  • Flatlanders and Surface dwellers - Gallery 516 Arts
    United States
    March 16, 2013
    Official selection - 2 month long gallery show
Director Biography - Marie-Michele Jasmin-Belisle

Marie-Michèle Jasmin-Bélisle is a Montreal-born film artist with extensive work experience in California, Japan and New Mexico.

It is upon falling in love with the desert light that she began exploring the American Southwest, where her career began directing films with dance-theater groups, indigenous artists and creating video loops for special events. She went on to write and direct two feature documentaries featuring Ojbwa leader and American Indian Movement co-founder Dennis Banks, worked with renowned composer Kitaro, had a solo show in Tokyo (films+ watercolors), and was nominated for Best Music Video for 'Demonic Lovely' ( mangy jazz, Le Chat Lunatique). Her film-poem ‘Wonder Chamber no 1’, the first in a series of cinematic shadow boxes inspired by her travels, was screened in Berlin and London, followed by Australia, Italy and the U.S.

Her film 'Desert Haiku' made the official selection of the International Symposium of Electronic Arts, and went on to screen in Bali for the Balinale. She is currently in post-production for an episodic pilot set in 1930s NYC.

Aiming to contribute meaning and beauty to our highly interconnected world, Marie-Michele's work deals with the ideas of magic, the sublime, light and morphic resonance (the resonance of memory through space). As we are one with our environment - esho funi, so must our art echo our life.

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Director Statement

The film I am presenting to you is a haiku-like film-poem in honor of the desert. The creation of this film was an exploration of the theory of morphic resonance - the resonance of memory in space. I wanted to image something surreal, intangible, ghostly, through the use of technology, over the very ancient landscapes I was filming.

As I began my journey to and through the deserts of the American Southwest over 10 years ago, this film evolved into a collection of experiences, as echoes of a distant memory felt across various sites in the desert. Inspired by the theory of morphic resonance, I adapted it into a tale on finding water - as a metaphor for finding oneself.

Desert Haiku has grown through time as I have. It has become an ode to my life in the desert, a record of intuitions, insights and knowledge (such as the distinct smell of fish in then- ocean, now-desert of White Sands), and a statement on the preciousness of water.

I wanted to lend a voice to the land, as it remembers its identity, and echo its journey back to mine, going back to the universal source of life : pure, raw light. This is truly a film about rebirth, and I hope you can be inspired by the beautiful canvas offered by the desert lands, and moved by its story, in the same way that the amazing dancers and performers in the film were.