Review: Walk on Water (2004)


Directed by: Eytan Fox | 104 minutes | drama, thriller | Actors: Lior Ashkenazi, Knut Berger, Carolina Peters, Gidon Shemer, Carola Regnier, Hans Zischler, Ernest Lenart, Eyal Rozales, Yousef ‘Joe’ Sweid, Imad Jabarin, Sivan Sasson, Nataly Szylman, Hugo Yarden, Joshua Simon, Tom Rahav, Imke Barnstedt

“Walk on Water” is very rewarding. Director Fox (“Yossi and Jagger” (2002)) takes on a lot of hay, but delivers a compelling film. The theme is intriguing. How do Israelis think about Palestinian suicide squads, what do they think about Germans, how do young Germans deal with the past, and what happens when a seasoned Mossad agent is confronted by an idealistic young German sympathetic to the Palestinian cause?

Fox takes plenty of time to explain all of this. “Walk on Water” is not a smooth-running Hollywood thriller, although it does contain exciting scenes. The story is told rather slowly, but the longer the film lasts, the more you become interested in what moves the main characters. There are actually no good guys or bad guys in this movie, except for the elderly Nazi. Rather, the essence is: everyone has a reason to hate the other party and want to die. This is true even of the idealistic young German, as it turns out at one point. Who he hates becomes clear in the course of the story and it would be a shame to betray it here, because as a viewer you miss a nice, surprising turn.

Particularly clever is that Fox manages to keep the tone of the film light. The subjects are heavy, the events don’t lie, but it is nevertheless a warm, sometimes even funny film.
Minus point: the young Germans in this story are very naive hippies and the role of Carolina Peters is one-dimensional to say the least, but the young German actors and actresses, as Fox says in an interview, influenced the script for their characters. lifelike, so apparently there really do exist in Germany these kinds of new old hips. You have to believe it.

Big plus: Lior Ashkenazi in the lead. He’s a great actor, at least in this movie. He knows how to tell a whole story at a glance.
In short, “Walk on Water” is not a movie for fanatics. Fox does not speak out for one party or the other. He just shows it all and that’s how the best films are made. Highly recommended for people who don’t go to the cinema for an adrenaline rush, but like to see an intelligently made film that makes them think.

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