An experiential film not unlike, say, Koyaanisqatsi, but for a different time, Aquarela seems a force of nature itself. Water is the main protagonist, seen in all its great and terrible beauty. Mountains of ice move and break apart as if they had a life of their own. Director Viktor Kossakovsky’s film travels the world, from the precarious frozen waters of Russia’s Lake Baikal, to Miami in the throes of Hurricane Irma, to Venezuela’s mighty Angel Falls, in order to paint a portrait of this fluid life force in all its glorious forms. Fragile humans experience life and death, joy and despair in the face of its power. There is certainly an environmental message here, though nothing is overtly stated in the midst of the element’s awesome power.
Aquarela is presented in conjunction with Occupy Colby: Artists Need to Create on the Same Scale That Society Has the Capacity to Destroy, Year 2, which focuses on climate change—perhaps now the most pressing of humanity’s concerns. Using various media, materials, and scales, artists respond directly and indirectly to their manmade and natural surroundings and, with heightened awareness of our planet’s fragility, show how both must co-exist.