Tom Lock Griffiths, 2016, UK, 19 minutes
Available October 27 – November 1
Content warning: This films covers the themes of depression, suicide, and grief
Waterfall is an ‘essay film’ based on scraps of text written by writer-director Tom Lock Griffiths around the 10thanniversary of his mum’s suicide. Some of the pieces of writing were about the reasons for her suicide and how he felt about it, some of them were about the waterfall in Wales where her ashes were scattered and some of them were unrelated thoughts about listening to the sounds of the environment where he lived in London. When he moved into a small flat above a lock on an east London canal, the sounds of rushing water that kept him awake at night, offered up a way to weave all the scraps together. By listening to the sounds of water, he could transport himself back to the Pistyll Rhaeadr waterfall and imagine the time he spent there as a young man, and the time his Dad scattered the ashes of his mum. Through this act of listening and thinking about water, Tom found a metaphor for delving deep into the subconscious; Trying to remember the events around his mother’s suicide was like submerging oneself in dimly lit watery landscapes.
Suffering from depression, as both he and his mum did, was like seeing the world through the prism of these underwater worlds, populated with swaying black water weeds and swirling silt. Throughout the film, Tom asks himself if he’s ready to actually go back to Llanrhaeadr-ym-Mochnant in Powys, the village adjacent to the falls, or whether this mental journey, exploring the murky depths of his interior landscape is enough. And by posing this question, Waterfall becomes an attempt to come to terms with his mum’s suicide and his own life-long struggle with depression. In the end Tom leaves the journey back into the heart of Wales up to the imagination of the audience. The film ends, with the suggestion of a beginning of a journey not the end of one. In the film Waterfall, we are all invited to think about what journeys we may or may not need to make to begin our own processes of healing.