Much can be said Megan Mylan‘s latest documentary “Just like water. ”But as the title suggests, the film succeeds in its calculated minimalism. Mylan’s deeply felt engagement with human struggles catalogs the plight of four Syrian families after the war and pervades informative insights with harrowing revelations. Still, he maintains an acutely cinematic approach to his narrative, an achievement that sets the film apart from most modern documentaries.
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Without talking heads or intrusive emotional manipulation, “Simple As Water” takes on an observant but emotionally rooted elegance. By amalgamating an admirably refined understanding of cinematic language with a focused thematic thesis, Mylan – an Oscar winner for the 2008 documentary film, “Smile Pinki“- seeks to expose the undeniably grim, but apparently hopeful reality of the Syrian refugees. While the audience travels around the globe, the documentary shows five segments: Turkey, Greece, the United States, Syria and Germany, which each serve as a backdrop for the segments – despite its size, “Simple As Water” never deviates from its intimate tone Tell stories.
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Everyday everyday things replace large, expansive shop windows of emotions, but retain an equally resonant effect on the viewer. For better or worse, “Simple As Water” never allows audiences to step out of the reality of the situation, which gives the document a politically-minded drive – one that quietly evokes the privilege of its first-world viewers without addressing itself directly above party in an aggressive manner.
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Conversely, an argument with the family climbs to the top of the documentary’s goals. Sacrifice, hope and transformation interweave into a neatly composed collage that shows the perseverance of family devotion in the midst of overwhelming circumstances – a mother’s love for her children replaces her own well-being, brotherly devotion leads to a striving for greatness and a reunion rewards the patience of one Father with his loved ones. Accompanied only by occasional musical contributions by the composer and Terrence Malick Employee Hanan Townshend“Simple As Water” lets its visuals and often silent moments speak for themselves and encourages real reactions as opposed to artificial sentimentality.
Nevertheless, “Simple As Water” stumbles wherever it succeeds. The documentary’s sticking to its slice-of-life style and lengthy sequences undermines its overall effectiveness. Therefore, when combined with its almost episodic narrative, certain sections often lapse into stagnation and show signs of underdevelopment due to their inability to advance the film on a thematic level. Although “Simple As Water” successfully communicates its message with clarity and class, its shortcomings rob the work of generating a significant, long-lasting response from the audience.
Even so, the compilation of the documentary’s successes compared to its shortcomings clearly favors the former. Set in a vast sea of distasteful or mishandled non-fiction cinematic books, Simple As Water features the voice of a talented filmmaker, reveals an extremely important subject, and highlights the international plight of families who deserve to be admired for their courage. [B]
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