THE MERMAID AND THE DIVERAccording to an old belief of the Miskitos, an indigenous group living on Nicaragua’s Caribbean coast, a person who dies at sea has been touched by a mermaid. A diver drowns. Later, while his body is being buried on land, his soul takes on the form of a turtle. The turtle is caught and eaten by a woman. Soon after, she gives birth to Sinbad, who lives happily next to a river until a hurricane destroys all he has and he moves to the next port to scrape out a living as a diver. When he ends up dying in the process, becoming one with nature, the images melt into a lyrical, mysteriously beautiful whole. And what wonderful images they are: mesmerizing underwater shots, long, powerful documentary scenes that observe the daily routine of the fishermen from an ethnographic perspective without ever seeming voyeuristic, as well as animated sequences that illustrate the unfathomable nature of a hurricane. In her third work as director, Mercedes Moncada Rodríguez playfully combines elements of the documentary, the essay film, the feature film and animation to present an enthralling portrayal of the cycle of life and death and the tough conditions in a region where people live from the sea, taking life from it, but again and again also losing their own lives to it.