The Writing in the Sand (1991)

Amber Films, Sirkka-Liisa Konttinen

An evocation of beach life in the North East of England, constructed almost entirely out of Sirkka-Liisa Konttinen’s black & white photographs.

The film evokes the magic of an urban family’s day out on the windswept beaches of north East England. It is packed with action, invention and surprise: bodiless heads sticking out of the sand; teenagers jumping in the sea fully clothed; family picnicking under a blanket. Memory and fantasy intermingle with expressions of intoxicating freedom and quizzical encounters with nature. Deeply experimental, the film was a labour of love, involving 400 photographs taken by Konttinen over 17 years. It was filmed with free camera movements and married to a complex soundtrack of beach recordings, music and poetry.

Amber Films, 45 mins, 1991

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