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Sunday, 4 September 2011

Natalie David Esphani "Still Water" (2011)

A fisherman toils away day after day, fruitlessly. Supported by his wife he trawls from dawn to dusk with discarded shoes his only harvest. Such is his despair that a storm is released. Still Water directed by Natalie David Esphani for her graduation film is a work of rare quality. I marvel that it is a student's work. The opening beautifully conveys the theme with dripping tap and sardines tin from which emerges the man himself. There is artistry throughout: the composition and transition of scenes, shimmering quality of light and director's assured skill with drawing, not to mention impeccable colouring and animation. Natalie has a rare eye for the visual aspects of film-making. One could include a whole anthology of stills from this movie. As so often with a quality work, Natalie is fortunate in having a gifted composer and musician, in her case Dan Karger who enhances an already stunning piece, drawing out the allegory of a man hammered beyond endurance by life's impossibilities. Natalie graduated from Jerusalem's Bezalel Academy of Art and Design. Still Water is a moving and stylish achievement. A tour de force.

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