In filmmaker Phoebe Arnstein's documentary We the Bathers an intimate lens is held up to a series of fourteen disparate lives, leading us to consider how our bathing rituals might be shaped by our identities.
Through a startling juxtaposition of stories from a grieving East Londoner, to a Sicilian sex worker, to a Japanese Buddhist monk, each person is given a platform to speak candidly about their experiences without restraint. Water is life.
Arnstein has a particular interest in elevating the every day moments and unique human condition to a place that is superlatively pensive and poignant.
Arnstein << Humans are drawn to water for reasons that extend beyond the basic instinct to survive. To what extent is our relationship with water emotional and how does this differ around the world?
With this objective I began a deeply intimate journey into the interior lives of a group of people to uncover their private ruminations, testimonies and personal revelations. Each bathing environment provided a space, much like a therapists room, into which I could step and listen to the stories these people had to share.
I discovered the act of bathing to be an important part of our emotional management on a daily basis, especially for those challenged by social issues such as depression, homelessness and racism. Making this film opened my eyes to the depth of our connection with water and it’s powerful role in our lives. >>
In 2018 Phoebe founded Lights, Camera, Power; a hands-on initiative backed by Panavision that aims to develop the technical abilities of female directors.