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Living Water

original title: Žít vodu

2020, 52/77 min., color / b&w, English

DOCUMENTARY CATEGORIES : Social / Society / Human, Nature / Environment
COUNTRIES: Switzerland, Czech Republic, Jordan


Director : Screenplay : Veronika Janatková
Cinematographer : Pavel Borecký
Producers : Pavel Borecký and Veronika Janatková in partnership with Art Salam (Paris) with support of Al Jazeera Documentary (Doha)


FESTIVALS: Ji.hlava IDFF 2020 (Testimonies Competition)



The vibration of machines echoes across the desert. Ever since Jordanian nomads settled in the spectacular landscape of Wadi Rum, they grew dependent on complex water infrastructure. The source is right below their feet, yet they struggle to meet basic needs.

In the meantime, deep water extraction feeds private large-scale farms, animates visionary development and secures growing urban population. Bedouins, farmers and city dwellers: they all expect to have a fair share, but digging for “blue gold” unleashes environmental timebomb.

Living Water tells the story of power, exploitation and changing ecological circumstances in one of the most water-poor countries in the world.


Borecky set out not just to explore the heightening conflicts over water that starkly illustrate the impacts of climate change but also wanted to raise the bar on environmental documentaries…[…]… For all his devotion to painting the full picture of hyrdrogeology politics and climate catastrophes, Borecky also feels the poetry and sense of eternity in the desert, conveyed effectively via his lyrical imagery of otherworldly red earth settings and the ethereal tones of John Grzinich’s sound mix and Shadi Khries’ score. Screening in the Testimonies section of the Ji.hlava fest, a diverse collection of Czech and international docs taking on issues that “cannot be overlooked,”Will Tizard, Variety