Beyond the Ocean

Director: Tony Pemberton
Screenwriters: Alexis Brunner, Tony Pemberton

Institute History

  • 2000 Sundance Film Festival


Seldom does a film come around with the striking originality and craftsmanship of Tony Pemberton’s Beyond the Ocean. By contrasting different themes and images, he has created a piece of cinematic poetry that gently stirs and furiously shakes the still waters of our souls.

The film’s storyteller is a young, pregnant Russian woman, Pitsee (Tatiana Kamina), who has just arrived in New York to begin a new life with her boyfriend, who lives in the States and is the father of her unborn child. Immediately displaced and rejected, she begins to unearth from deep within a wealth of stories and unresolved issues from her Russian past.

The American scenes are shot in rich, colorful CinemaScope, and the Russian ones in striking black and white. Pemberton masterfully weaves together what are actually two films about completely different worlds into a brilliant fusion which accurately depicts the radically intricate psychology of a woman on a journey through an arduous and passionate life. Beyond the Ocean makes exceptional use of music and features very perceptive performances. Kamina injects her character with the refreshing vitality essential for such an abstruse and fractured character. Pemberton lyrically intercuts flashbacks with current happenings to create a psychological space that defines the borders of self-liberation and self-deception. A dynamic and artistic film, Beyond the Ocean resonates with imagination and talent.

— Trevor Groth

Screening Details

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