Purple Sea

This heart-wrenching documentary would be called expressionistic if it wasn’t so unintentionally real. Syrian artist Amel Alzakout documents her dramatic passage from Turkey to Greece via a camera affixed to her wrist, when the boat she is fleeing on suddenly sinks off the coast of Lesvos. Brilliant sunshine, clear blue skies. The sea is calm, framed by a piece of railing. A peaceful moment if it weren’t for the fact that the sea is standing upright, vertical, like a waterfall. A rush of images, twirling, upside down, jolting. People in the boat, in the water, screams, life jackets, emergency whistles. There’s no horizon any more, no sky, no up or down, only deepness and nothing to hold on to. Even time’s flow comes to a halt, contracting into the brutal present. Amel Alzakout films and speaks, if only to beat being tired, being cold, the fact that help isn’t coming. To beat dying, just for something to leave behind.