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20th November 2019

A Force Of Nature That Lasts Too Long

Every day we can see that nature and the weather are two sensational phenomenons. One moment the sun shines and the flowers blossoms while a few days later, it’s raining like never before and no green grass is present anymore.

Director Viktor Kosakovskiy (“Graine de champion”, “Sports Kids: Varicella”) has a passion for both documentary making and the earth as he dedicated his latest documentary “Aquarela” to the intriguing wonders of the earth. “Aquarela” is a wonder as well as it turns out to become a gorgeous, spectacular and one-of-a-kind documentary.

A few men walking on thin ice with spears and nets. Looks like they want to catch some very fresh fish. Well, it couldn’t be further from the truth. While being surrounded by many moving and dangerous glaciers, they’re rescuing people who sadly fell into the ice, with or without their cars. The work comes with a lot of danger but how far will the job take the men before it all gets too dangerous?

In “Aquarela”, we also meet some very brave sailors who are conquering the ice-cold water, melting ice and immense waves to sail to their destination. We see them being surprised by the strong wind and pouring rain and both their lives and their boats are in constant danger. How much longer will they be able to battle against the brutal forces of nature before it becomes too unsafe?

This is actually how the entire documentary is built. We get to know some strangers who turn out to be very intriguing and courageous people who are being confronted with the cold, the constantly changing weather and the hazardous consequences that come along with that.

Every life, every person and every moment tells a story. Kosakovskiy tells those stories in a very unique and interesting way by using almost no conversations. The way he does it is by creating the perfect combination of sound, light, and vision.

First of all, it’s the dazzling cinematography that’s being created by Kosakovskiy himself. Every moment, the changing nature and the elements will keep you on your toes and keep you drawn to the screen. There’s a big, thrilling and beautiful surprise behind every corner.

Sadly, that surprising element fades away the more the documentary continues. While “Aquarela” only lasts 99 minutes, it feels like it’s dragging on for a bit. How long can you watch ice melting, sky-high waves, gushing rain and the impact of the changing nature before it gets all the same? Well, you will find that out while watching “Aquarela”.

Some scenes could have easily been left out, especially more towards the end. However, that being said Kosakovskiy didn’t only do an impressive job as a director, writer, and editor but also a cinematographer by creating a visual jaw-dropping scenery.

Those images become even better once they’re provided by the perfect score. The music lifts this movie to a whole new level and makes it a thrilling, exciting and exhilarating one. Not only the dreamy, splashy and vibrant sound of the melting ice and dripping water but also the blasting loud rock music. The combination of those makes this film that special vibe again.

That “Aquarela” was already screened at film festivals such as Sundance Film Festival and South by Southwest Film Festival and that it won multiple prizes such as Feature Documentary Competition at the El Gouna International Film Festival is immensely understandable. Yes, “Aquarela” feels like it drags on for a while but the impressive cinematography and the gripping sound make it worth the watch.

Water and ice are shown around the world, in all of their many powerful forms.

13th December 2019

Viktor Kosakovskiy

Viktor Kosakovskiy, Aimara Reques

Running Time:
1h 29min

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