Wawata Topu (Women Divers in Rasua dialect) is an award winning documentary about four generations of fisherwomen striving to make a living in the coastal village of Adara, West Ataúro in Timor-Leste. Their daily lives, their economic practices and their vital concerns, as well as the contradicting discourses and social barriers they face, are shown in this ethnographic portrait that makes visible their critical contribution to the household economies and the fishing community at large
Wawata Topu, the mermaids of Timor-Leste
For over four generations, the women of Adara gradually began to be part of the fishing tradition of their small coastal town of Timor-Leste. With a harpoon and a net in hand they search for the fish that can be taken to land and be sold in a nearby market in order to obtain the resources with which they can continue with their modest life.
Spanish director David Palazón moves in the middle of this symbiosis between land and water in an respectful and inquiring ethnographic approach. In this way he captures beautiful underwater footage and rustic images on brown earth to film the daily life of the people of Adara, who in their own voice explain their cultural tradition and reveal their deepest aspirations.