Camille Henrot (b. 1978)
Million Dollars Point (2011)
Million Dollars Point is the name of a dive site on Santo Island, in Vanuatu, a lagoon that had become an underwater cemetery for hundreds of tanks and canons abandoned by the U.S. army after World War II. The site was named after the amount offered by the natives to buy this war material out, brand new but already outdated. The film Million Dollars Point juxtaposes the images of this submarine battlefield with footage of a local music video showing a French mustached man dancing and singing on a Pacific beach with Polynesian girls at his side. Our awkward position as a spectator of these highly stereotyped images of the Polynesian woman, products of the consequences of war, can be read in their own gestures. The choreography of the young women seems to respond the images of engulfed weapons, they hide their faces as a refusal to see, and they mimic waves, which recall the borderline between the surface and the sea bottom, a line that would symbolize the wish of keeping this history away.