F L U I T
a newfound fluit in the Baltic Sea takes us on a journey into our shared, undiscovered history
a documentary film — 58min & 72min
Hanna Hemila/Handle Productions
Annemiek van der Hell/Windmillfilms
Directed by Sakari Suuronen
Written by Beata Harju
Cinematography by Joonas Pulkkanen
© Handle Productions, Windmill Film 2021
In the summer of 2020, a team of scientific and technical divers from Finland, known as Badewanne, discovered a uniquely well-preserved wooden ship wreck in the Baltic Sea. The ship turned out to be a a fluit — a Dutch type of merchant vessel in the 16th and 17th centuries. This summer, the team of divers uncovered the wreck’s transom. Carved in the wood is the the image of a swan, and the year 1636.
The ship has been entombed on the Baltic Sea bed for nearly 400 years. We intend to find out who was on board, where the ship was heading, and what caused her untimely fate.
Dating back to the Renaissance, The Baltic Sea has been a key trade route connecting the inhabitants around the sea with England, Holland and Russia. Seafaring allowed the spread of tools and materials, new inhabitants with their knowledge and language, religion and culture — thus greatly influencing the geopolitical landscape between these nations and ushering globalization into a modernizing world.
The fluit with its construction was a technological invention, and quickly became a staple in global sea trade.
THE DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
Fluit is a documentary feature using this astounding Finnish discovery as a means to paint a reflective picture of seafaring on the Baltic Sea and its impact on our shared heritage. With the help of the Finnish Heritage Agency, international maritime archaeologists, scientific and technical divers and historical recordings, we will further discover the origins and destination of the fluit, the reason for her demise, and the ultimate fate of her crew. In the process, we will dive into the origins of the stock exchange and modern insurance instruments — all tracing back to the fluit and its role as the connector, aka the “internet,” if you will, of its time.
Our film will intertwine the research-driven dive and an investigative process of elimination with the animated journey of seafaring archetypes of the time. Approaching historical facts with animation will allow us to see the typical circumstances under which a young sailor would set out on the dangerous journey across the Baltic Sea, and to visualize the early diversification of risk in ship ownership, and the birth of the first modern stock exchange, insurance instruments, and speculative investments that came out of the increased seafaring.
We have been very interconnected for significantly longer than we think.