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About the Film

4D Ultrasound/Sonogram (SD), Experimental, 3 mins., 2019


In a world that demands conforming to the circumstances around us, the bond that connects life is what ultimately makes us human.


Seeing through sound in a machine-driven yet organic process of capturing life inside the womb reinforces how people conform to associations, linkages, and relationships. There is a journey from the inside; there is an odyssey on the outside. 




Production Team

Child in utero       Phoenix Rana Soriano Jarilla
Wandering voice   Philip Arvin Jarilla
Producer/Director/Writer   Rianne Hill Soriano
Editor   Rianne Hill Soriano
Sound Engineer   Philip Arvin Jarilla



As it is human nature to seek knowledge and find answers to questions about life and the world, the opportunity to see a fetus in utero through a technology utilizing sound bridges the gap between seeing and hearing. Yet, more than satisfying a curiosity through a visual representation of a child growing inside the womb, an advanced sonogram called 4D ultrasound resonates into a figurative means of communication inside the human body and out into the world we live in via a process similar to the visual perception we are accustomed to. Meanwhile, the aural odyssey accompanying the visuals carries varying layers to explore unanswered questions our mundane sensibilities are unable to process literally.

A mother’s sonogram of her child becomes more than just a technological output and a medical source. As the images start moving, the progress in time transcends, speaking far and beyond the sound that generates the image. Scenes edited from a one-hour 4D ultrasound session show images dependent on sound, the way the life inside is dependent on the mother. Like the filmmaker mother, one can see through the very images of the fetus’ bodily movements including head turns, yawns, tongue-out and thumb-sucking bits, hands touching the face and body, and arms moving in different directions, while swimming in the life-supporting water inside the womb. These moments revitalize how we are human inside and out.

The man-made process, from the recording and real-time viewing of the images to the playing of the recorded images thereafter, while hearing a wandering man's journey around nature, offers much to the human psyche. Every viewing reinforces how human beings conform to associations and relationships as they come around. The bond that ultimately connects life, alongside the many linkages available in this world we live in, is what ultimately makes us human.


Production Notes

This experimental picture is the filmmaker's first film after a 10-year hiatus from working on independent short films. She had four well-received shorts until 2009During her decade of rest, she worked on advertising projects, while keeping her fiery passion for art through her writing and academic projects, as well as touring around her four prior shorts in different film festivals and events. "Isthmus" is her first experimental film. It is her most personal film to date, involving her then unborn child, herself while on the way, and her spouse who completed the film's sound requirements.

The images are edited based on the fluidity of water as life; how a doctor’s hand communicates with the fetus in utero, while the mother asks the baby to favor the camera when she initially preferred to sleep face down on the placenta. Soon, touching images start appearing on screen as the miracle of life offers people from the outside world a window to what happens to a baby inside the mother’s womb. This collaboration between art and science through a technology common to both domains fulfills a three-way communication between a baby, a doctor, and a mother in real time. Indeed, there is a trinity in the three people involved in the process of capturing the image. There is also a trinity in the three people involved in the process of producing the final cut of the film: the baby, the director/editor mother, and the voice talent/sound engineer father.

Presented as poetry, this film features sound elements of a man's journey around nature from day to night, from wandering around the woods, to seeking shelter during a thunderstorm, to freely swimming in the vast seas, to finding solace by the campfire. His odyssey in the natural world that is beaming with life and diversity offers irony to the highly technological visuals of his daughter's sonogram seen on a man-made screen.

Life, they say, is a miracle. This film puts an audio-visual bond linking a miracle to the mundane through the wonders of science, technology, and art in order to supplement humanity’s sensibilities, as well as the ideas of building various relationships and connections for people to utilize. It swims in the love of humanity’s evolution and the different linkages that fortify what it is to be human in this world.


Production Stills



Online Profiles/Write-ups/Features

IMDb: Isthmus

Cinemalaya: Gawad CCP

FILMARTworks: Isthmus


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