It was the summer they played music in the old mill. The summer Maya died. The summer they built extraordinary boats out of ordinary trash and escaped a life that didn’t make sense anymore.
But, that’s getting ahead of the story.
Flood Tide follows a group of artists and musicians who live in a small, post-industrial town. They chase jobs, struggle with bills, and use art and music to build their own small worlds.
When Maya dies, they set out on an extraordinary voyage, unknowingly accompanied by her ghostly presence. And while they drift past empty new condo developments, explore crumbling castles, and swim in iridescent quarries, Maya narrates a parallel story about a strange and meandering river that flows both ways.
Flood Tide rings with voices from members of the band Dark Dark Dark, a chorus of friends, and characters met along the river. Together they create a quiet narrative of loss and possibility, river and town, community and isolation, magic and mundane.
Director Todd Chandler’s debut feature is a collaboration with the Swimming Cities of Switchback Sea, a project dreamed up by the artist Swoon in 2008. With her, an eclectic group of artists and performers built and floated seven large sculptures for 150 miles on the Hudson River, putting on live performances in towns along the way.
Although it documents a real life journey, Flood Tide is an independent, fictional film that uses the voyage as its centerpiece. The film and its small crew shot footage of the boats and rafts under way and staged structured scenes on board and on shore.
Music is an integral part of Flood Tide, both on screen and off. The film features all-original music by the band Dark Dark Dark and includes several onscreen performances by the band as well as a special performance by renowned sound artist Pauline Oliveros.