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US 2023 | D: Emily Packer | Documentary | 77 min.
Austria Premiere

With: Dragonfly (Robin Laverne Wilson), Aasia Taylor-Patterson, TL Thompson, Hilary Asare, Meghan Dolbey, Hannah, Rego and others.

Script: Emily Packer, Josh Margolis
Camera: John Marty
Editing: Lindsey Phillips, Ben Still
Music: Melissa Guion, Abby Swidler
Producers: Emily Packer, Trey Tetreault, Ben Still, Josh Margolis, Liz Beeson, Julia Lewis

New York was once considered the oyster capital of the world. It was a poor man's food and has now mutated into a luxury meal. The bi-sexual shellfish, some varieties of which change sex during their life cycle, is at the centre of this documentary production, as is the city, which has largely forgotten the history and biology of the oyster. Environmentalists bring back the oysters in the middle of the polluted harbours, in elaborately designed underwater gardens, because the complex bivalves are an important part of underwater biodiversity, and they also take on the exact taste of their surroundings. Informative cinema meditations on the sea, gender, community and the environment, as well as gender fluidity, show the oyster as a queer icon that is intertwined with nature and culture in a special way.

Emily Packer is an experimental filmmaker and editor with an interest in geography and hybrid formats. Packer ́s short film BY WAY OF CANARSIE (2019), which she co-directed with Lesley Steele, is streaming on the ambitious Criterion Channel. As an editor, Packer ́s work has been published on PBS. Her feature film editing experience extends to indie narrative, experimental non-fiction, historical arthouse films, and personal essay films. Additionally, Packer serves on programme juries for film festivals. Her latest hybrid documentary HOLDING BACK THE TIDE (2024) premiered at the Thessaloniki Film Festival 2024.