This is my first – but not the last – poem about The Water Diviner. Be warned, there are spoilers. Font is a little wonky because I am not an expert at formatting in WordPress…
Tied with Babadook for Best Picture in Australia’s Academy Awards, this film is Russell Crowe’s directorial debut, and folks, if you’re thinking of watching this movie, be warned, it will get under your skin. The Water Diviner swept the awards in the Film Critics Circle of Australia Awards, but hit some resistance in other critics’ corners. For my part, I’m hoping to see more films directed by Russell Crowe coming out of lockdown brainstorming sessions!
This is actually a film I have to think twice about rewatching – it’s a bit triggering – but I often return to it regardless, because there’s medicine in there, too.
The way home leads you out of bounds and follows shining waters, past seagrass beds, deep underground, your fare the coin of fathers. You learn the language of the lost, the courtesies long absence imposes on the way we gloss this limbo with brave gladness. If, at the last resort, you found an antidote to madness, an echo of the subtle sound that hooks a father’s gut sense - would you reclaim someone who fought for years to be forgotten? could you embrace a young man caught at the inferno’s bottom? could you unbind the bandage round the eyes he turned on heaven? and wipe away the shame that’s found a burrowing place inside him? And where will you embark, you two, if hell is not forever? past seagrass beds - or with those who make hope their whole endeavor? Would he know what to do with you, or how to finally sever ties to what he thought he knew when his whole heart said, “never”? Where will the way home lead you both? and has he asked you whether love released him of his oath forgiving him his valor? Will he embrace a future bright with dangers and long chances, and join the unremitting fight when grief’s long arm advances? Can you conduct him through this night, back to the wide expanses native to the living light - a world where his heart dances?