Waterproof

Waterproof

Documentary Film
2019
88 minutes
subtitles: 
English
German
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Stefan Kloos, Michaela Pňačeková
Daniela König
Basel Naouri
Patrick Richter
Alex Bakri
Daniela König
Manja Ebert, Claudia Leder
At the beginning the car radio plays a song you simply have to hum along with. The song escapes the neat compact car, floats out into urban space and becomes the initial sound of an in some respects initial film. In the car, women on their way to the next job are sitting, giggling, singing (and smoking). They are plumbers – a golden craft that shines a little brighter than elsewhere here in the desert state of Jordan. Water needs to be carefully protected from leaking, getting dirty, dripping and seeping away here. This lends their mission a heroic touch – and provides the not unfunny horizon in front of which the German media artist and reportage filmmaker Daniela König talks about something (almost) completely different.

This other thing is not encountered often in the (Western) filmic view of “the Arab world”. It’s bright and casts shadows only where two diverging developments meet in a confined space. Here is peroxide-blonde Khawla, who successfully sells herself in the media as “Jordan’s first female plumber”, and there is her employee Aishe, who wants to start something new as her 40th birthday is approaching. How will their friendship develop in the up and down of hierarchic friction, in the shifts from patronising to dependency to patronising? This is shown in a documentary that borrows its plot from soap operas – and pays back in the currency of another genre.

Sylvia Görke