Wood and Water
Jonas Bak’s debut is a compassionate and precise record of a woman exploring Hong Kong and awakening to a new side of herself, performed by the director’s mother.
Anke Bak, Ricky Yeung, Susanne Johnssen
Germany-France 2021. 79min
German, English, Cantonese
With English subtitles
Anke was looking forward to a family reunion with her children to celebrate her retirement. When her son Max, who lives in Hong Kong, cancels his trip to Germany at short notice, Anke decides to visit him there instead. So begins an unhurried solo travelogue (set against pro-democracy protests), during which Anke makes deep emotional connections with a number of local residents, as well as her own self. Offering a fascinating account of an older woman entering a new stage in her life, the film carries a familial intimacy, but also expounds on the universal themes of ageing and solitude. Complemented by Brian Eno’s hypnotic soundtrack, Wood and Water embodies Slow Cinema at its best, generously allowing us time to discover the film’s riches at our own pace.
Hyun Jin Cho
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