Water Review (Scherpschutter)
From The Spaghetti Western Database
Director of Photography:
There are two kinds of people in this world, my friend: those who thirst for water, and those who thirst for gold.
We’re in the desert. An exhausted man has run out of water and must try to reach civilization as quickly as possible – or die of thirst. This is not your average desert: The thirsty man in search for water, is wearing a fur coat.
In the meantime Jonathan Rich, a sophisticated lowlife (with a Shakespearean accent!), is thrown out of a saloon by local beauty Rose. He loves her when she’s mad, but she’s only interested in money. The two men, the wanderer in need of water, and the sophisticated lowlife in need of money, meet face to face in the town street, their noses only inches above the ground. Pleased to meet you, sir! The wanderer asks Jonathan to buy him a drink and offers a gold nugget by means of payment. This was probably not a smart thing to do: the only drink he’s offered, won’t ever quench a man’s thirst, and he’s taken back into the ice-cold desert by Jonathan and his two henchmen, Slim Corbett and John Frusc, to lead them to the gigantic gold nugget he has located in the middle of nowhere.
Water is a Dutch western, a hutspot western. There are no deserts in Holland, not even cold and windy ones. Water was shot in the shifting sands area of the Nature reserve The Wekeromse Zand, in the province of Gelderland, in the east of Holland. The town scenes were shot in the western town The Lodge, a party and events venue in Gilze, in the South of Holland. The film was written and co-directed by Wouter Jansen, who previously made the shorts Hungry Bears don’t Dance and Blind Tom. Water is his most ambitious foray into the western genre so far. It’s also a major improvement over his previous efforts. Maybe he would have liked to shoot Water in the South of Spain, but surprisingly the Dutch locations work in the movie’s favour. An ice-cold, windy desert is a unique setting for a western and turn Water into some kind of The Great Silence without snow.
Ever since Leone we know how important scores and faces are for the genre. The score by Theo Vosse is a major asset and Water offers a couple of faces that were no doubt carved and sculptured to fit the genre. The script is simple, but very effective, offering a bleak and ugly look on the human condition: the people in this short movie, are greedy, foolish and cruel. In this ice-cold, windy world, only nature shows mercy: When the thirst for gold has led to a massacre, the thirst for water is finally quenched.
You can watch the movie here: Youtube