Synopsis by Mark Deming
Consciousness, the individual's perception of reality, and humans' place in the universe are among the underlying themes of this philosophical Dutch feature. Bart (Bart Klever) is a screenwriter whose latest project is a script entitled "The Sea That Thinks." What he writes is what's happening around him, and in time what he's writing begins to affect what's around him, as his screenplay becomes layered with increasing levels of notes and observations about the reality of his life. As reality begins to turn on him, Bart finds himself caught in a variety of strange illusions that lead him to wonder just what is real and what is not. While the film's reflexive, self-referential nature straddles a fine line between fiction and reality, this didn't prevent De Zee Die Denkt from winning the VPRO Joris Ivens Award at the 2000 International Documentary Film Festival in Amsterdam.