The Rushing of the Sea

  • Director

    Molly Karna

  • Country, Year, Length

    United States, 2022, 10:30

  • Category


  • Format


  • Festival Year


Film Screening & Ticket Information

When & Where to See this Film!

RECOVERY: 7 films about getting past or over it.

April 19, 2024 @ 5:0PM • Kaufman Astoria Studios – Zukor Theatre


THE RUSHING OF THE SEA is a sensory meditation on the inexplicable ways grief moves through us as we move through it. Younger and Older are adult siblings who have just lost their mother to terminal illness. Younger has sunk into a grief where she intrusively relives the last perfect day the three of them had together: on the beach, with the rushing of the sea underscoring impermanence. When Older has to leave Younger alone for the first time since the memorial, Younger’s surreal, sensory grief threatens to drown her. She must turn into the swell and face it, accepting the help and love of her family — both here and gone — to resurface.


Molly Karna, Director (Arrangement, Truckstop)
Dani Martineck, Writer, Producer, Key Cast: “OLDER” (Blue Bloods, Succession)
Isabella Jane Schiller, Producer, Key Cast: “YOUNGER”
Austin Lee Smoak, Director of Photography (Vampires, An Invitation to Tea, L.A. Macabre)
Ya-Ting “Itchy” Yang, Editor (The Guest)
Shanthal Caba Mojica, Sound Designer (La Familia Reyna)
Maya Graffagna, Production Designer (Subsist, Stop-Motion)
Eli Denby Woods, Composer

Director Statement

In the last few years, it seems that grief has reached more people at once than ever before. There are many things that I have grieved during this period: loved ones lost; a time of ‘normalcy’; the possibility of kissing a stranger; my old self, to name a few. When writer Dani Martineck approached me with the highly personal script for THE RUSHING OF THE SEA, I was drawn to a piece that is a meditation on grief. My own grief guided me as I shaped the film.

My goal as I directed THE RUSHING OF THE SEA was to create a piece that visually and cinematically externalizes the inexplicability of grief using the ocean. Younger’s journey through the apartment, her memories, and her emotions create a sensory world that she can tangibly feel and that the audience is submerged in alongside her. Inescapable loss has gutted Younger: She can’t speak, her hearing is disrupted by the sound of waves, and now that she’s finally alone and forced to think her thoughts, they bring her constantly back to the ocean and her beautiful memories with her mother. When she finally stops running and confronts the absence in her home — her mother’s room, now empty of her mother — it nearly drowns her. The aftermath isn’t grand: There is no ghost, there are no trumpets. Instead, there is the beauty of quiet and stillness, and the gratitude of feeling a little bit lighter, just for a moment.

Director Biography

Molly Karna is an Indian-American writer and director, completing her M.F.A. in Film and Television at the USC School of Cinematic Arts. Her films include ARRANGEMENT (NY Indian Film Fest; Best Debut Short, Cincinnati Indian Film Fest), BIG AND SMALL, and DEMI. Molly has also worked in Mumbai and NY, as a staff writer for TV Asia’s SAMACHARI NEWS, and on projects including SURINA AND MEL and the Hindi film CHEF. Her thesis, TRUCKSTOP, was a finalist for the Screencraft Short Film Screenplay Competition 2022.