General Public
SRFF Member
New York Premiere
32 minutes
ripples and pools embraces the hopeful and refreshed possibilities for healing ourselves, each other, and the world we occupy.
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ripples and pools
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When life is dark and you feel like you are losing your loving spirit, where do you go? Where do we go when everything hurts? Faced with expensive, debilitating surgery, director Robin Burke sought out aquatherapy in Louisville, Kentucky. Affirming and quiet, sorrowful and joyous, ripples and pools shares intimate portraits and perspectives, dissolving grief, while holding you like your grandmother.

A small team filmed this buoyant documentary in just seven days, oftentimes completely submerged in the 92 degree saltwater. The film effortlessly guides us through the pool, into the shared experiences of pain from which you can’t look away, woven with immersive perspectives of kicking feet, cannonballs, and slow, supported movements.

Giggles and squeals echo as babies and toddlers learn to swim with their caregivers in the shallow end. The patient and firm voice of swim teacher, BJ, is intersected by an exuberant group of elders, who have become dear friends. They move gracefully alongside each other as we listen to them talk about how they’ve healed physically, how their bodies are changing because of the water, and how happy they are to have found hope and renewed health.

Fighting back tears, Abby’s dad Jeff speaks about his daughter’s autism diagnosis, his transformational journey of loving her, and their shared tender moments of play in the pool. Immersive underwater photography captures an elderly man exercising with barbells. We track a young girl walking with assistance and join Darryl, who is blind. Physical therapist, Mickey, is explaining her movements as she guides Darryl through therapeutic exercises to help him heal from a car accident. They both agree his walking has gotten much better.

ripples and pools features an original music score by four-time grammy winner Eugene Friesen and performances from Carly Johnson, Elizabeth Cotten, and Elizabeth Rogers. Integrated with environmental sounds and water recordings, the music encourages us to breathe, grieve, and bear witness. ripples and pools embraces the hopeful and refreshed possibilities for healing ourselves, each other, and the world we occupy.

2022, U.S., DCP, 32 minutes. Recommended for all ages.
Studio: Robin Burke Productions, Inc.
Producers: Robin Burke
From: United States
Produced In: United States
Directors: Robin Burke
Key Crew: Ben NewkirkCinematographerAssociate ProducerOff Line Editor Don Lenzer CinematographerEugene Friesen ComposerEmily Miles Associate Producer of Engagement Bonnie Cutler EditorMark Escott Sound Designer Peter Miller Sound Recordist Jaimie LeJeune Colorist

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