Anke retires from her job at the church in a small town in the Black Forest. She looks forward to reuniting with her children over the summer holidays by the Baltic Sea, at a place where they used to live as a young family, and where she lived her best years. At the last minute, her son Max is unable to join them because of the pro-democracy protests that are bringing Hong Kong, where he lives, to a standstill. She has been out of touch with him for many years and after an otherwise uneventful summer and facing the void of retirement, she decides to visit him. A mother wants to check in on her children every now and then, but Hong Kong is also her adventure. She takes up residence in his flat while Max is away on a business trip and cautiously begins to navigate this mysterious new world. Through conversations with strangers, she gradually settles in. A young woman who is sad to leave Hong Kong, Max’s doorman, a psychiatrist, a fortune teller and a social activist. These encounters and her experience of the city help her to break down the inner walls she constructed years ago and make way for a new chapter in her life.  

 
 

Trailer

 
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Cast​​

ANKE BAK

RICKY YEUNG

ALEXANDRA BATTEN

PATRICK LO

THERESA BAK

SUSANNE JOHNSSEN

PATRICK SHUM

LENA ACKERMANN

EDWARD CHAN

CHRISTEL JOHNSSEN

AMY ACEITUNA

JONAS BAK

WOLFGANG ACKERMANN

RACHEL CHAN

HARRY HA

TONY POON

TAI CHI CHAN C FU GROUP

 

Screenwriter, Director, Editor

JONAS BAK

Producer

CHARLOTTE LELONG

Co-Producers

ULLA LEHMANN, ANDREA ROGGON

Cinematographer

ALEX GRIGORAS

Sound

CHRIS GAYNE, JEREMIE VERNEREY, ALBERT HUNG KIN KONG, ISAAC BERTULIS

Camera Assistant

THOMAS ROWE

Assistant Director

ADRIANA PRAXMARER

Gaffer

HSIEN YU NIU

Music

“New Space Music” written and performed by BRIAN ENO

Courtesy of All Saints Records, © Universal Music Publishing Ltd on behalf of Opal Music

Supervising Sound Designer & Re-Recording Mixer

MARIAN MENTRUP

Sound Designer & Dialogue Editor

MICHELE BRAGA    

Sound Designer

MICHAL KRAJCZOK

Foley Recordist

SERGEY IVANOV

Cinema Re-recording Mixer

JONATHAN SCHORR

Line Producers

HEYNA WONG, ALBERTO GEROSA, LORIEN STOTZEL

Colour Grading

ALEX GRIGORAS

Visual Effects

LUKAS GEGEVICIUS

Hair & Make-Up

LENA ACKERMANN, AMREI PORTELLA

Grip

MANUEL GRIESBAUM

Fixer

TIGER KAO

Catering

NATHALIE PORTELLA, AMY ACEITUNA

Driver

KK WONG

Editing Consultant

EMRE CAGLAYAN

Artwork Design

CHARLOTTE LOUIS, THOMAS LELONG

Title Design

ROBERT GUTMANN

Artwork

MARISSA STOFFER

Photos

FRIEDHELM BAK

Shot on

KODAK FILM

Film Development & Scanning

CINELAB

Translation & Subtitling

WAY FILM GMBH

Supported By

MFG FILMFORDERUNG BADEN-WURTTEMBERG

Festival Presentation Supported By

GERMAN FILMS

With thanks to

THY LAB, SÜDWESTRUNDFUNK (SWR), MASTER CHRISTIAN ORTH (www.masterarts.training), HENRIK NIELSEN, PROTESTANT CHURCH GUTACH, FANGYING ANG, SOPHIE DUCHARME, WILLI WICHMANN, NEW NORDIC FILMS, TERESA KWONG, SACHIKO AND RÉGIS LELONG

 
 

Press​

Downloads

STILLS 

PRESS KIT

 

Production

 

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(c) Trance Films - Wood and Water - Stil

"An endearing film at the border between documentary and fiction, and one which hides under its humble appearances a very sharp sense for atmosphere"

- Fabien Lemercier, Cineuropa

"I was especially taken by Jonas Bak’s gentle character study [...] it’s in the brief encounters, the small talk and the unspoken hurt that our heroine comes to life."

- Beatrice Loayza, The New York Times

"The images, the forest—the natural world where the film begins and ends—and the thronged, high-rise-lined, neon-lit Hong Kong streets, have a richness and presence [...] this modest but beautifully shot and edited film contains some of the last images of daily life in a free Hong Kong that we’ll ever see."

- Amy Taubin, ArtForum

"The nearly abstract transition from Germany to Hong Kong, underscored by a soundtrack from Brian Eno, has to be one of the most beautifully accomplished sequences of the year so far."

- David Hudson, Criterion Daily

"But for all of the evocatively warm energy at the center of Jonas Bak’s “Wood and Water,” tension roils along the edge of each frame."

- David Ehrlich, IndieWire

"Bak’s old-school compositional rigor grounds a series of deeply pleasurable meetings with strangers, conducted in halting lingua franca English."

- Vadim Rizov, Filmmaker Magazine

"Wood and Water casts a sympathetic eye across trans-continental family bonds, growing older, and finding connection in an increasingly chaotic world. Here the inevitable, the uncontrollable, and the senseless prove common ground for kindness and discovery rather than alienation."

- Carmen Paddock, One Room with a View