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Watch the trailer for Jonas Bak’s Wood and Water

With seamless grace, German director Jonas Bak moves from the tall spires of the Black Forest to the teeming skyscrapers of Hong Kong in his tranquil, deeply moving feature debut.

Newly retired from her church job, Anke dreams of spending time with her grown children—including her uncommunicative and elusive son, Max, who has been living for years in Hong Kong, and who is unable to join his mother and sister back in Germany due to the ongoing pro-democracy protests.

In a daring decision, Anke, though suffering from loneliness and loss, travels to Hong Kong to find Max and perhaps also herself. The people she 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.

In his hushed, wholly original approach to this fish-out-of-water set-up, Bak constructs a gentle, ambiguous fable of becoming, shot on 16mm and featuring a wondrous, naturalistic performance by his own mother, Anke Bak.

The film stars Anke Bak, Ricky Yeung, Alexandra Batten, Patrick Lo, Theresa Bak, Patrick Shum, Edward Chan, Susanne Johnssen, Lena Ackermann, Amy Aceituna and Christel Johnssen.

Wood and Water will be released theatrically in NEW YORK at MOMA on March 24 with a Los Angeles and US release to follow.

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