Puerto Rican director discusses how her film captures magic

Actor and content creator Derrick Sherrier Jr. (left) and filmmaker Alexis Garcia (right), discussing Garcia's film Daughter of the Sea (2022).
Actor and content creator Derrick Sherrier Jr. (left) and filmmaker Alexis Garcia (right), discussing Garcia’s film Daughter of the Sea (2022).

On Nov. 10, the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute (CCCADI) held the next installment of its virtual conversation series Afro Picks.

Alexis Garcia discussed her film, “Daughter of the Sea” (2022), with actor and content creator Derrick Sherrier, Jr.

They discussed specific scenes from the film, and Garcia’s building blocks for storytelling. The film centers on a young woman named Yanise, who after the death of her grandfather, experiences a spiritual awakening when she is called by Yemaya, the spiritual Goddess of the Sea, in the film.

Garcia is an award-winning writer, director, and proud Afro Boricua hailing from the Bronx, New York, and Miami. Earlier this year, she was selected to participate in the LALIFF Inclusion Fellowship sponsored by Netflix, where she wrote and directed the film, starring female rapper Destiny Nicole Frasqueri, known professionally as Princess Nokia.

Garcia, who comes from a multiracial Puerto Rican family, wanted the film to be as authentic as possible.
“It was important for me to cast people that represent my family,” she said. This is why she collaborated with Puerto Rican actors, actresses, and artists for the film.

In the opening film clip shown during the conversation, a spiritual figure wearing black is interacting with a man wearing all white. Garcia said this scene symbolizes the spirits of death and life interacting with each other.

Garcia wanted to play with her imagination and see what would happen. “It was fun because of how quickly everything moved, but also the most challenging,” she added.

Screen grab of a scene from Alexis Garcia's film "Daughter of the Sea" (2022). Yanise's grandmother is showing her how to prepare a ritual to honor Yemaya, the spiritual goddess in the film.
Screen grab of a scene from Alexis Garcia’s film “Daughter of the Sea” (2022). Yanise’s grandmother is showing her how to prepare a ritual to honor Yemaya, the spiritual goddess in the film.

In the next clip shown, Yanise, along with her mother, grandmother and several female cousins are coming together at the table to eat a meal and to get to know each other.

“This film is about the divine feminine,” she said. This was the purpose for giving every woman a voice in the scene.

In the third clip shown, Yanise and her mom are having a conversation about grief and loss. The message Garcia is telling in this clip is, “Life events like death happen, and they signify a moment of change.”

Screen grab of a scene in Alexis Garcia's film "Daughter of the Sea" (2022). This shows the spiritual goddess of the film, Yemaya, who is wearing all blue attire, standing with her back towards the ocean.
Screen grab of a scene in Alexis Garcia’s film “Daughter of the Sea” (2022). This shows the spiritual goddess of the film, Yemaya, who is wearing all blue attire, standing with her back towards the ocean.

In the last clip shown, Yanise’s grandmother shows her how to perform a ritual to honor Yemaya. Garcia stated that her connection to the spirit is something she is glad to know, thus she was guided to share this scene in the film. She adds that the film is also about spiritual inheritance.

“I feel like the film offers some tools to deal with grief and loss,” she said. This is why Garcia shared that she is improving accessibility to those tools.

Garcia wants people to know: “Magic is real. It exists in our everyday life, whether we see it or not.”

To get details on upcoming screenings of “Daughter of the Sea” (2022), you can follow it on Instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/yemayafilm/?hl=en.

More from Around NYC