Silvered Water

Silvered Water ★★★★

The camera's ability to share knowledge and images of events that otherwise would have been buried by a veil of secrecy makes this a most difficult watch, replete with countless deaths, both on- and offscreen, and enough violence and brutality to nearly make me regret rewatching this, even taking its poetic richness into account. The film structures itself as something of a conversation between the two filmmakers, and even more elementally, between the dozens of amateur filmmakers whose images, originally posted to social media sites, allow the likely unprecedented access that Silvered Water, Syria Self-Portrait has to the horrors occurring in Syria in the early 2010s. The structure is not without its issues: by melding these images into sectioned buckets the way it does, the film comes close to aestheticizing violence, but even after a repeat viewing, every strike is just as painful to watch as before, making this one of the last films I would take to task for normalizing violence. If anything, this rewatch gave me an increased appreciation for Cameraperson, which, though less emotionally affecting, is a bit more complex and unexpected in its shared understanding of the human condition.