Victor Kossakovsky’s (¡Vivan las Antipodas!, NZIFF12) latest mind- and documentary-bending opus captures water in all its guises: from a frozen-over lake to a flowing river; from breaching icebergs to cascading waterfalls; from a screen-filling, slow-breaking colossal wave to a beneath-the-ice plunge; from individual raindrops to a massive flood. Majestic, menacing, dangerous, deceptive, murderous, glorious, ferocious H2O shapeshifts from element to sensory event in this epic and spectacular meditation which travels across the globe.
A visceral visual and aural poem, employing state-of-the-art digital technology which allows moving water to be shot without any loss of detail, Aquarela is an immersive experience likely to make your head and senses spin. It eschews narrative, although an undertow of environmental alerts about the havoc of climate change can be sensed in its rushing flow. Kossakovsky mainly lets the images and the equally incredible soundscape provided by water – thundering, crunching, raging, trickling – tell his tale, while occasionally overlaying it with a dense, heavy metal-infused score he commissioned from Finnish musician Eccia Toppinen. — SR
“Any environmentalists and politicians arguing the need to combat climate change would do well to add Victor Kossakovsky’s Aquarela to their arsenal. The Russian filmmaker’s attempt to capture the raw power of the Earth’s water using 96 frames-per-second cinematography and considerable daring is an experience of shock and awe – as well as wonder.” — Demetrios Matheou, Screendaily