Monsieur Hulot curiously wanders around a high-tech Paris, paralleling a trip with a group of American tourists. Meanwhile, a nightclub/restaurant prepares its opening night, but it's still under construction.
The Voice of the Water shows us a world not so long gone. In contrast to what one could expect, we see a real Dutchman. This here is a documentary without re-enactments, no 'fakeness', just the bareness of living surrounded by water. Innocent children, fishermen, happy folk, sad folk, acting out of free will and forced to do what others than themselves want them too.
This picture Haanstra sketches, made me realize how insignificant and estranged we must seem to the people of past times. Raw and unrelenting as the water is, shaping the daily life of thousands. At the same time we get to see the contrast between the changing and the unchangeable. Forces of nature doing their thing, and the power of men, failing and succeeding (often in that order).
The Voice of the Water is not so much a film that's fun to watch - though it most certainly is - but more than that it's a feeling that you get. This is humanity, this is living, this is life, this is what it means to be living. And the water is our teacher, our guardian, our foe, our companion, it's own master.
Watch it and enjoy the way Haanstra captures this ancient world, unaware of the ways in which it would change (in only a couple decades too). And that's what makes this movie work.
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