Two women and two children watch as three men in a rowboat leave the shore to bob and sway in the breaking waves. Just before the shot comes to an end, the movement of the sea causes the boat to lurch to the left. What happens to the rowers? We will never know. Barque sortant du port is exemplary of the cinema’s power to capture fleeting moments. Here, the filmic medium and the ocean – united by inhuman animus and a penchant for flux – conspire against anthropocentrism. No longer separate from nature, and certainly not its master, the human is dwarfed by the unruly, intractable contingency of the water.