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The Ruby is a catalyst for creativity and a home for making art at Duke.
Date & Time
Wednesday, April 3 at 7:00 pm
Free and open to the public. More Info
Film Theater at the Rubenstein Arts Center
2020 Campus Drive
Durham, NC 27705

Feet in Water, Head on Fire
(Terra Long, 2023, 90 min, USA, English, DCP)


“Terra Long’s feature debut is a breathtaking portrait of California’s Coachella Valley that is both anchored in the specifics of place and community, while freely exploring the limits of cinematic time and space. Shaped by seismic forces of the San Andreas Fault, the Coachella Valley is home to an agricultural community built around the date palm trees introduced to the region in the early 1900s. Today, the land and its people face combined threats from economic upheaval, US immigration policy and climate change. With an elliptical grace, Long’s film spans vast expanses of geological time and sweeping desert landscapes into extreme close-ups of the region’s plant and insect life, where microscopic views of cellular biology trace intimate stories of human connection. Beautifully shot on 16mm film and featuring hand-processing techniques that incorporate plants native to the Coachella Valley into the film, Long’s documentary is grounded in place even on a material level.” – JC


Terra Long is a filmmaker whose work circles cultural, personal, and natural histories embedded within landscape. Her practice is collaborative, with a commitment to deep listening and material explorations of celluloid. She is a member of the Independent Imaging Retreat Collective (The Film Farm) and F4A Collective, where she shares handmade filmmaking techniques. Her work has been shown in festivals including, Toronto International Film Festival,  Media City Film Festival, Images Festival, Ann Arbor, CPH: DOX, International Film Festival Rotterdam, EXiS, and the Edinburgh International Film Festival among others. Her work is distributed by the Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Center. She studied at the Simone de Beauvoir Institute at Concordia University and received her MFA from York University.


Feet in Water, Head on Fire is a visual tone poem as much as it is a documentary, a sun-drenched, shimmering mediation on mankind’s relationship to the natural world. Each shot is dripping with texture. With its churning, hypnotic soundtrack punctuated by long stretches of silence, this is a documentary that refuses to spell out its themes, instead leaving the viewer to contemplate them on their own.” – Austin Woods, Vox

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