Irish Film Institute -Waterdance, The

Waterdance, The

In one cruel twist of fate, novelist Eric Stoltz finds his carefree existence instantly transformed when a hiking accident leaves him with a broken neck and permanent disability. Attempting to intellectualise the powerful sense of frustration and anger within him, he is wheeled into a physical rehabilitation centre where fellow patients include hulking, racist biker Bloss (Forsythe’s) and yarn spinning ladies-man Raymond (Snipes). The men have nothing in common except their new found disability, but a shared understanding of what each is experiencing – expressed from wheelchair fist fights to a sardonic sense of humour – eventually bonds them into a supportive ‘family’ unit.
A quasi-autobiographical film from writer/co-director Neal Jimenez, The Waterdance opts for a compelling emotional honesty as he expresses the confusion, despair, sexuality and resolution of men facing an entirely new and difficult life. Gallows houmour and expert ensemble playing keep the threat of sentimentality at bay and the result is a moving protrait of courage and friendship.

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