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Germany, 2011, 95 Minute Running Time
Additional Countries: Spain
Program: Contemporary World CinemaLanguage: German, French, Spanish English Subtitles
DIRECTOR: Maggie Peren
Producer: Boris Jendreyko, Thomas KlimmerEditor: Simon BlasiScreenwriter: Maggie PerenCinematographer: Armin FranzenPrincipal Cast: Álex González, Hubert Koundé, Sabine Timoteo, Nathalie Poza
Color of the Ocean dramatically connects the lives of three unrelated individuals: Jose, a hardened cop; Nathalie, a naive tourist; and Zola, an undocumented African refugee. German director Maggie Peren deftly weaves their stories together with the tough issues of illegal immigration and the moral question: am I my brother’s keeper?
Human tragedy unfolds on the pristine beaches of Spain’s Canary Islands when boatloads of illegal African immigrants land. Half-dead, they are now at the mercy of the local police. If they came from the Congo, they can stay; if they are Senegalese, they are deported. Veteran cop Jose decides their fate but has little sympathy for their plight. He has demons of his own. His drug-addicted twin sister begs him for help, but he turns away. When he receives a phone call to go to the beach to deal with yet another boatload of immigrants, he meets Nathalie, an innocent tourist who discovered the Africans. Her gift of bottled water touches Zola, one of the surviving refugees. He brought his son to escape the perils of Senegal, his homeland. Zola pleads with Jose to let him stay. When Jose refuses, Zola escapes from a detention camp with his son and hides out at a local water park. Nathalie, against her boyfriend’s wishes, decides to help them with a second gift, enough money to get off the island.
Color of the Ocean’s cinematographer, Armin Franzen, captures the beauty of the Canary Islands with underwater photography and lush scenic shots, but gives equal attention to the darker side of the detention camp and the surrounding area. Some of the actors cast as African immigrants are actual refugees who experienced a journey similar to Zola’s.
- JOEY PORCELLI
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