Sundance 2019: Aquarela

A still image from Aquarela by Victor Kossakovsky, an official selection of the New Frontier Programs at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute.

Aquarela is a visually stunning and immersive experience that needs to be experienced on the biggest screen possible with the best sound system.

This is a film that captures H20 in both its liquid form of water and solid form of ice.  It also captures idiots driving on the ice and thinking that they can get away with it.  These people are extremely lucky that there are people out there willing to dig your car out of the water below the ice.  My initial thinking was this:  how can people be so stupid to do such a thing?!?  One comment in response is strikingly clear that their decision had to do with the damaging effects of climate change.  This is because the ice is melting three weeks earlier than usual.

Whether it’s melting ice in Russia, a hurricane in Miami, or a waterfall in Venezuela, Viktor Kossakovsky goes all over the world to bring us this thing of beauty.  This is a film that is able to beautifully–if we can call it such–capture the ice breaking off in all of it’s thunderous beauty.  It does so in 96 frames-per-second.  I don’t know how many films use this rate but let me just stress how stunning these visuals are.  Speaking of which, I thought Roma had one of the best sound designs ever for a film.  Oh, how I was wrong!  While there are films with impressive sound designs, I don’t know if any of those films come close to the Aquarela experience.  If you have the opportunity to watch this film in a Dolby Atmos theater, please take the chance!  There’s not a television screen in the world that can do this the proper justice.

DIRECTOR:  Viktor Kossakovsky
SCREENWRITERS:  Viktor Kossakovsky, Aimara Reques

Aquarela holds its North American premiere during the 2019 Sundance Film Festival in the New Frontier program. Grade 4/5

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.