The Lab

The Lab is a nonprofit experimental art and performance space located in the Mission District of San Francisco.

Dead Slow Ahead

7:30pm Doors / 8:00pm Film
$8 entry / Free for members

An enormous shipping freighter drifts aimlessly across the desolate waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Beneath the grinding, brutal machinery and bruised ocean skies, the ship’s anonymous crew toil tirelessly to keep the ship on course. They could be lost, men adrift, or perhaps the last vestiges of a doomed species. Gorgeously shot in rich, spectral hues, filmmaker Mauro Herce’s (cinematographer on many acclaimed films like the Cannes winner Mimosas) award-winning documentary, resembling at times a dystopian sci-fi film, is an immersive one-of-a-kind experience.

"A transcendent sci-fi documentary. Herce and his crew have accomplished is an invaluable feat of cinematic empathy and vision." – The Verge

"The most beautiful film I saw... Herce's riveting and eerie visual style successfully captures the monumentality of the bulker—and man’s smallness within it." – Cineaste

"Herce captures an astonishing array of natural wonders and crafts an extra-sensory tableaux of near-surrealist imagery with a steady hand and acute eye for the beauty of his surrounding." – Brooklyn Magazine

Mauro Herce graduated in mechanical engineering and creative arts in his native Spain but went on to study film in Cuba and in Paris. After developing his skills as a director of photography and screenwriter on several films, including the Costa Rican drama El Camino (2007) and the Chilean documentary Ocaso (2010), filmmaker Mauro Herce boarded a cargo ship bound from New Orleans to the Ukraine to make Dead Slow Ahead (2016). The documentary's inspiration dates back to Herce's childhood in Barcelona where he first became fascinated with distant freighters.

Photos: Mauro Herce: Dead Slow Ahead, 2015; film stills; courtesy of Grasshopper Film.