photo: Depth of Will     D. Gorton

I wanted to illustrate the depth of will that propels fathers to protect their children. I traveled to Miami and went to a Catholic refugee center where I met this man, Toussaint, a Haitian refugee, and his children.

I proposed we recreate that moment when he found himself miles off the Florida shore, the boat burning in the water, his wife having drowned, flailing with his children in the sea.

He agreed.

I set up lights near a wharf, then asked Toussaint to step into the water with the children.

He paused with the children, then pressed in, the water closing around his chest. He kept his back to me and then turned, swiftly. "This is what it looks like to face death," he said in French. "This is what it feels like."

One roll of film and it was over.

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copyright by D. Gorton