The feature-length documentary Living Water, which is included in the climate change section, directed by Czech director and social anthropologist Pavel Borecky, is a co-production between the Czech Republic, Switzerland and Jordan that deals with the conflict of water scarcity in Wadi Rum, also known as the Valley of the Moon. This desert area is located close to a mountainous granite and sandstone region in southern Jordan.
Through a series of interviews and poetic scenes of the arid landscape, the eco-documentary shows the current complex situation in the country. Water resources are on the verge of depletion and there is an internal conflict between the local community and the state. “The film is about the moment when the king and experts have to meet because the water situation is so critical that they are forced to draw water from the depths,” says Borecky.
Borecky is a social anthropologist, audio-visual ethnographer and film curator. His previous films, Solaris (2015) and In the Devil’s Garden (2018), focused on consumer culture in Estonia and the issue of decolonisation in the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic. Living Water is his first feature-length documentary.
“States seem benevolent because they invest in infrastructure, in roads and we see it as a welfare state. We are from the Czech Republic and when we go to Northern Europe we think everything is great.” In Jordan, explains the director, “a monarchy has been ruling for years and the same thing is happening, and it’s also one of the most stable in the Middle East,” the director assured the audience at the Festival.
Finally, he quoted anthropologist Arjun Apadurai, who believes that the era of nations is over, and a kind of planetary government is beginning: “As we have seen with the coronavirus, the idea of the nation-state is still present,” he pointed out. And “there are still voices in the world saying that you have to support the leaders, but they aren’t going to go away so quickly,” he adds.