I read an article in an on-line newspaper in which the columnist refers to the characters in Roberto Minervini’s Low Tide (2012), as “trailer trash”. The article has since disappeared but it provoked me into writing this review about the life of a 12-year old boy (newcomer Daniel Blanchard) and his mother (Melissa McKinney — who, in real life, is Daniel’s sister).
All life is worthy of respect, not just designer kids living in twelve story apartments with wet-wipes. All-of-life, of course, is different as Roberto Minervini the director puts it, “America is the most complicated place in the world when it comes to contradictions. It’s an abyss ready and willing to swallow you up.”
To watch Low Tide is to accompany a 12-year-old boy for 90 minutes, no music, almost no dialogue. Real life events don’t come with artificial sound effects and accompanying music. That is what our imagination is for, an instrument that is used so well in Low Tide – to create an ambiance for our experiences – a fantasy world of things that exist only in our mind, all the time and everywhere.
The movie gives us an opportunity to participate in the life of “The Boy” and “The Mother” — not in a voyeuristic way, but as a companion.
The boy wanders around and also does what he believes his duty is. The mother does what she believes she needs to do as well, but with a difference. She is self-aware and needy.
With Low Tide there was no screenplay, just an outline and a cameraman (cinematographer Diego Romero) following them around, sometimes out-of-focus, most of the time very intimate.
I believe Roberto Minervini achieved exactly what he had in mind and the cast and crew improvised with mindfulness and empathy.
In summary, Low Tide left me with a question: Is life with social networking and entertainment served to us on a dish really any better?
We outsource our lives. “The Boy”, and “The Mother” don’t.
The story of a family, for real!