The Sea That Thinks is a 2000 Dutch experimental film directed by Gert de Graaff. The film makes heavily use of optical illusions to tell a "story within a story" revolving around a screenwriter writing a script called "The Sea That Thinks". The script details what is happening around him and eventually begins to affect what happens around him.
Why is the film called 'the sea that thinks'?
'What are you?' is the central question in the street interviews. And all the people interviewed gave the in fact 'wrong' answer. Because it is impossible to say what you are, you can only say what you think you are. In between the street interviews, we read the story of the sea that is no longer happy. She/sea has got the idea into her head that she is a beautiful tree. That thought restricts her. That story is a kind of commentary on the people who answer. I think (-) that our thoughts about ourselves, about what we think we are, also restrict us. What can we do to be happy again? And at the same time that is one of the essential underlying questions in the film: why am I not happy? And what do I have to do to become happy?
One of the people we interviewed was a woman with two small children. She thought she was a housewife. When the interviewer then asked one of the little girls what she was, the little girl spoke the unforgettable words: 'I won't tell you, so there!'
Gert de Graaff (1957, Amsterdam) is a film theoretic and cinematographer. He studied directing, cinematography and editing at the Dutch Film and Television School. He has been giving lectures on the grammar of film and editing at many places around the world since 1993. He worked as cameraman and editor on several films. Very recently he did an in depth analysis of the internet hit Kony 2012.