the-sea-you-have-to-love-2015-wally-review

THE SEA YOU HAVE TO LOVE

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by Patrick Wally

grade: 7.5

An extraordinary feeling of calm pervades the whole The Sea you have to love. And this particular contemplative mood mirrors a reality at risk that, one day, precisely because of the pollution of the seas, could risk disappearing forever.

The blue sea

The sea: an incredible source of resources, an immense expanse of blue water where one can take refuge from everyday life and, above all, a true heritage for humanity. Where pollution does damage, there are also those who, for their part, continue to protect this heritage and live it to the full by exploiting all the resources it offers. In the documentary The Sea you have to love, directed by Patrick Wally in 2015 – already presented at the Diagonale 2016 and included in the programme Diagonale 2020 – The Unfinished, following the cancellation of the festival – a small and precious reality is shown. This is the reality of a small fishing boat where a retired fisherman works together with his small team of co-workers. The boat everyone is on is now more than 20 years old and the same routine takes place every day.

Patrick Wally’s camera focuses mainly on small details: from the hands of a fisherman intent on unravelling a fishing net or a nylon thread, to the detail of a lit cigarette resting on an ashtray, to the harsh close-up of a dying fish. At the same time: poetic images of vast expanses of water filmed now at sunset, now at dawn, now in the course of the day.

An extraordinary feeling of calm pervades the whole The Sea you have to love. And this particular contemplative mood mirrors a reality at risk that, one day, precisely because of the pollution of the seas, could risk disappearing forever. Patrick Wally, for his part, has opted for an essential mise en scène. There is no place, in The Sea You Have to love, for redundant captions or real interviews. Only rarely do the fishermen tell their days, some bizarre anecdotes and their story to the camera. And, when they do it, they continue, quietly, in their work.

The directorial choice to give the impression that the camera is almost invisible is here more appropriate than ever. What we are confronted with is reality in its purest sense. Without any filter. And, in just under half an hour, Patrick Wally has managed to create a complete and exhaustive portrait of the reality that the workers on the boat experience every day.

And it is precisely with a successful elliptical structure that this The Sea You Have to Love finds its fulfilment. An immense blue expanse opens the work, while the wake the boat leaves behind as it enters the sea – with a large flock of seagulls following it – brings everything to a close. And so, another day has just begun. And everyone is ready to set off again with their usual activities, towards new, exciting adventures.

Original title: The Sea you have to love
Directed by: Patrick Wally
Country/year: Austria, Croatia / 2015
Running time: 28’
Genre: documentary
Screenplay: Patrick Wally, Steven Heyse
Cinematography: Steven Heyse
Produced by: Piece Of Cake Film, Filmakademie Wien

Info: the page of The Sea you have to love on the website of the Diagonale; the page of The Sea you have to love on iMDb; the website of Patrick Wally