An Abyss Appears in the Middle of Its Body

"An Abyss Appears in the Middle of Its Body" is a poetry film from experimental filmmaker Michèle Saint-Michel. The film was inspired by a line in the Nobel Prize-winning Polish poet, Wisława Szymborska's poem, "Autotomy."

"In danger, the holothurian cuts itself in two.
It abandons one self to the hungry world
and with the other self it flees.

"It violently divides into doom and salvation,
retribution and reward, what has been and what will be.

"An abyss appears in the middle of its body
between what instantly becomes two foreign shores."

The film has no narrative or dialog. Instead we travel within the work via the musical score realized by Scottish experimental composer Danni Rowan.

  • Michèle Saint-Michel
    Vile Figs, Transmettre, Abyss Welcomes Us, PTSD Suite, Lost Sock Collection, School of Life, Don't Tell Me I'm Beautiful, Return of the Unchartable Soul
  • Danni Rowan
  • Project Type:
    Experimental, Short
  • Genres:
    Experimental, Poetry Film
  • Runtime:
    8 minutes 41 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    September 29, 2020
  • Production Budget:
    500 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Great Wave Festival
    October 16, 2020
    World Premiere
    Official Selection
Director Biography - Michèle Saint-Michel

Michèle Saint-Michel is a filmmaker, intermedia artist, and poet. Her poetry films have been screened at art galleries and film festivals in the US, UK, Canada, Romania, France, and Germany as official selections. Her latest work is an experimental documentary suite of short films exploring the symptoms of PTSD. Learn more at

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