In the Waves
True North | Future//Present
In Jacquelyn Mills’ impressionistic documentary, her 80-year-old grandmother Joan Alma Mills struggles to come to terms with the death of her younger sister and searches for answers to life’s big questions in the natural beauty that surrounds her coastal village home. Elliptical scenes of Joan’s daily life, and glimpses of the filmmaker’s more camera-shy grandfather, are interspersed with spiritual interactions with nature. A visit from a young niece invites a juxtaposition of the beginnings and endings of life, and evokes ideas about the nature of existence.
A small and intimate film, In the Waves nevertheless feels as though it reaches out into infinity. Mills moves effortlessly between observational documentary, full of charmingly candid scenes, and non-narrative poetry that captures moments of grace such as reflected light dancing on a wall. With a delicate attention to detail, spoken musings on mortality and meaning are intricately interwoven with elegiac imagery. This is a soulful rumination on the passage of time—its ebbs, flows and eternal mysteries.
— Adam Cook