Gaea

Gaea - Shadow Puppet Film by Layla Holzer

Based on the Greek mythological story of Gaea, this adaptation focuses on the concepts of the monstrous womb and castration. Presented through shadow puppets to give a more enchanting and less brutal image, the film challenges ideas of the creation of life and male/female power and authority.

In the beginning there was only Chaos, a swirling black void of silent darkness. From Chaos and darkness came light and day, and from light and day came Gaea. Wide-bosomed Gaea stood alone in the universe. From her own body, she brought forth Ouranos to be her mate, covering her on all sides. And so from woman came man.

Ouranos was of masculine form, strong and powerful. He had what woman lacked thus he was her perfect companion. Gaea approached Ouranos and the two embraced with lust. The union of man and woman sparked life within Gaea’s body. Nature blossomed inside.

From flora came flesh as mortal creatures were sprung from Gaea’s womb. Although monstrous in form, Gaea welcomed her children into the universe. But Ouranos was terrified of them. He believed that in their monstrosity, they would rise above his own masculine power and overthrow him. And so to protect himself, Ouranos forced his offspring back into Gaea’s womb.

The children grew restless inside. They banged around inside their mother’s body in agitation, causing great pain and sadness to Gaea. At times the children tried to escape but the powerful ever-watching Ouranos refused them freedom. Over time, the children grew too strong for Gaea’s body. Outraged at Ouranos’ dominance, she sought revenge.

Gaea seduced Ouranos, promising him the delight of her flesh once more. But during their embrace, the monstrous children struck out at their father, destroying his power. The children fled to freedom as Gaea retrieved the castrated flesh of Ouranos.

She took herself to the water’s edge and threw Ouranos’ precious parts into the ocean. From the foam and water a maiden was created. This maiden became the Goddess of Love, Aphrodite. And so from man came woman.

Gaea - Shadow Puppet Film by Layla Holzer puppets

Gaea - Shadow Puppet Film by Layla Holzer puppets paper cutGaea - Shadow Puppet Film by Layla Holzer