Wood and Water (2021)

  • New Directors/New Films 2021
  • 1h 19m
  • Germany, France, Hong Kong
Available as part of ND/NF All Access Pass

ND/NF has various safeguards in place to protect the rights of creators, including traceable watermarking. Recording or photographing is strictly prohibited.

With seamless grace, German director Jonas Bak moves from the tall spires of the Black Forest to the teeming skyscrapers of Hong Kong in his tranquil, deeply moving feature debut. Newly retired from her church job, Anke dreams of spending time with her grown children—including her uncommunicative and elusive son, Max, who has been living for years in Hong Kong, and who is unable to join his mother and sister back in Germany due to the ongoing pro-democracy protests. In a daring decision, Anke, though suffering from depression and anxiety, travels to Hong Kong to find Max and perhaps also herself. In his hushed, wholly original approach to this fish-out-of-water set-up, Bak constructs a gentle, ambiguous fable of becoming, shot on 16mm and featuring a wondrous, naturalistic performance by his own mother, Anke Bak.

Presented in collaboration with the German Film Office, an initiative of the Goethe-Institut and German Films.


Jonas Bak


Cantonese, English, Alemannic, Alsatian, Swiss German



Bonus Content

New Directors/New Films 2021 Trailer
Wood and Water Q&A

A conversation with Jonas Bak moderated by NDNF co-chair and MoMA programmer La Frances Hui.

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