The ambiguity of politics in La Fille de L'Eau replaces the ambiguity of stylistics from Une Vie Sans Joie (1924). I find it hard to determine which early idea presented by the film should then be applied throughout the film... that hope springs from the unsung courage and perseverance of everyday people or that wisdom is seated in the lives of those who know to avoid being in the way of their husband's racing car? Is Renoir flippant in his observation of the casualness of fate and abnormality of instinct? This film leaves me with more questions than answers as it is a launching point for social themes that will be teased out throughout Renoir's career. I would like to think that Renoir cares about "the little people" but it is well recognized that he is ambiguous and ambivalent in his political expressions. This film is a good example. The documented views of Vigo's social cinema have a solid application in the barge scenes and the milieu of the film more generally, however, the stylistic system dominates the cinematic experience(like all Renoir films really). Psych-driven flashback shots and angular close-ups eventually give way to rapid editing montage sequences. The caravan scene is first expressed in Eisensteinian juxtapositional collision montage and is then remembered by Gulune in Gance-like hyper-psychological rapid montage. As Gulune undergoes further stress from her environment and circumstance, she hallucinates...and nightmaresque sequences are constructed from every French Impressionist technique in the book: superimpositions, mattes, over-exposures, surreal visuals (mise-en-scene), reverse-projection, slow-motion, oblique blocking within the frame, unnatural settings, and even mirror distortions a la Dr Tube (Gance). Gulune was close to death and I conjecture that this is the over-arching theme of the film as opposed to the tired fixations on Renoir's supposed ever-present and all-pervasive socialist politics (even if subverted and often excused under the banner of "naturalism"). Perhaps my thesis would hold more weight if La Fille de L'Eau had been produced in 1926 or 1927 as sound film was to bully silent film to death... but then again Renoir was always considered forward-thinking and generally ahead of his time.