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The Art of Drowning (2009)

Ponders the possibilities of what awaits us at the end of our life.


Diego Maclean


Billy Collins (poem)
3 nominations. See more awards »


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Credited cast:
Billy Collins ... Narrator
Winston Rekert Winston Rekert


Ponders the possibilities of what awaits us at the end of our life.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Animation | Short



Official Sites:

Official site





Release Date:

1 May 2009 (Canada) See more »

Also Known As:

Искусство быть утопающим See more »


Box Office


CAD 1,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Stereo (Stereo)


Color (HDCAM)

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1 / (high definition)
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Director Diego Maclean appears briefly in three moments on the film - in a portrait of a couple, being punched in the face and drinking from a bottle. See more »

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User Reviews

The "keep it simple yet creative" approach in the animation compliments the poem without getting in its way
21 February 2011 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

I watched this short film recently just to fill a little time if I'm honest – I wasn't in a particularly reflective mood (indeed I had been playing video games and had grown tired of them) and perhaps was not in the correct frame to suddenly be watching a Candian animation pondering the nature of death, in particular the accepted "flash" we will get of our lives in that final moment. I wasn't really in that sort of mood but yet suddenly I was because this film is as effective as it is short.

The animation is very "basic" but I do not mean that in a derogatory way, but rather to say that it keeps it simple – black lines on a white background, without too much ever going on at once. This allows us to have Collins' poem supported in a visual way but at the same time it never threatens to do more than "support". This is a wise decision by the director because not only does Collins have an engaging voice and tone, but his musings are considered and engaging and do have a poetic rhythm to them. It is particularly well done with the voice, the words and the images all working well as a whole.

An engaging and brief short film that knows its strength (Collins and his poem) and focuses on bolstering that, not distracting from it.

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