” For whatever we lose (like a you or a me),
It’s always our self we find in the sea.”
– E.E cummings
The water wall is the story of Andy De La Torre and several others who live with a glimmer of hope in sterile landscapes. It documents a tumultuous period in the United States of America. The tale gyrates around a myriad emotions mostly dominated by a perpetual sense of tragedy. The world projected is a disjointed one stuck between the labyrinthine realms of feelings and duty.
De La Torre’s story is one amidst many that either stayed relevant or disappeared during the biggest illegal immigration ever to be registered by the US Border Patrol in the state of Florida.
Andy de la Torre, a forty five year old Cuban, has a dream. He wants to step on US soil. A place that believes would help him find freedom. A place that would finally help him find happiness. Happiness that has always eluded his grasp. He has made numerous unsuccessful attempts before. However the dreamer in him has never ceased to exist. We learn that he would be trying to do the same for a staggering forty third time. Like Santiago in Hemingway’s The old man and the sea, he is assisted by a somewhat frail and rustic vessel. His route shall be fraught with fatal impediments. Terrors of deportation, incarceration, and death would chase him. Nonetheless the belligerent Andy shall dream on. He shall fight with every ounce of life left in him and reach the promise land.
Like the title, The Water Wall blurs a number of otherwise rigid lines. Like water , the story of Andy suggests change. Perhaps a kind of balance between enlightenment and ignorance.
Water plays a preponderant role in the movie. It symbolises flux. Life and death endlessly gyrates around water.
The movie addresses the issue of the ‘outsider’. A man looked at from a myriad lenses. A man subjected to harsh consequences. Yet, the tale focuses upon the facet of hope.
Beyond detention, deportation or migration – there exists a will to life, the zeal to see better days, to put the hours of dread behind oneself for good.
Life for people like Andy is a story about infinite struggles, some out in the wild and the others, internal.
Fear ties all mankind together and hope brings them closer to one another.
The water wall offers a glimmer of hope that enlightens a million dormant dreams.
There exists a strange relationship between Andy De La Torre and a tattoo. He promises himself to get one as soon as he steps on American soil. He does so in his rare and unique way. A tattoo that indicates the strength that resided in Andy’s beliefs.
A sense of determination that was determined to never stop, the zeal to see the brighter side of the sun.
One can’t help but be reminded of The Old man and the sea by Ernest Hemingway on a number of occasions.
The Water Wall depicts a world of real struggle, a world where the fear of death looms large perpetually. However, it also depicts a world full of belligerent and defiant souls. People who persevere relentlessly. It tells us about the meaning of being referred to as ‘human’.
Kudos to Andrea Sambuccetti for daring to tell a story like this about a world so pertinent yet often invisible to the eyes of some.