A Handful of Water (Eine Handvoll Wasser)
Year Released: 2020, 2023 North American premiere
Runtime: 1h 34m
Director(s): Jakob Zapf
Writer(s): Ashu B.A., Marcus Seibert, Jakob Zapf
Cast: Jurgen Prochnow, Milena Pribak, Anja Schiffel, Pegah Ferydoni, Regine Vergeen, Rainer Ewerrien, Anke Sevenich
Language: German with English Subtitles
Where To Watch: making its exclusive North American premiere on IndiePix Unlimited on April 7, 2023
RAVING REVIEW: In this timely drama, A HANDFUL OF WATER, we see an unexpected bond that develops between a bereaved older man and a young Yemeni refugee. The film offers stunning performances that center on the man's journey as he learns more about himself. We see his life take a substantial turn when this young girl from a struggling Yemen family enters his world.
With a blend of social and political themes, the movie spotlights the interactions between the main characters from diverse social backgrounds. The recurring water theme throughout the film shows the true nature of the overall message.
Konrad Hausnick, played by Jürgen Prochnow, cherishes his solitude and is persistently annoyed by those around him. He becomes estranged from his daughter following her decision to make a life choice that makes her happy, causing him to spend his days in the company of his fish.
An unforeseen twist occurs when the man discovers noises in his basement one night—introducing Milena Pribak (Thurba Al-Sherbini), who will unknowingly change Hausnick’s life and whether he’s ready for it or not. The rest of the film depicts the world these two are used to and how their new world changes because of this encounter.
Al-Sherbini’s natural performance counters her co-star's commanding presence. While Hausnick’s sincere and genuine portrayal exhibits a broad spectrum of emotions, especially when diving into who this character is and why he ended up like this.
While pairing a cantankerous older man and an energetic young girl isn’t new to the world of film, their interactions breathe a heartwarming air into the film. The actors' chemistry introduces a comical and light-hearted nuance to the intense social drama. While the ultimate plot may be somewhat predictable, the pairing on screen drives this film forward and makes it feel new.
After the meeting, there were miles of development on both sides. Though I wish the film had spent more time on the “previous” lives of the two main characters. While some information is provided, I wanted more from the character development.
This powerful drama effectively captures the power of empathy and human connection, paying homage to films that have come before it while also blazing its own trail. There is a perfect balance between drama and comedy, ultimately allowing this film to appeal to a broad audience.
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[photo courtesy of INDIEPIX FILMS]