Rough Waters is unlike any film I’ve seen that tackles depression. While you may be trapped in your own mind at the beginning of this film, by the end you are set free and able to consider life again through the account of Katie Kim.
Gray and blue take control over the film and rain drips down onto windows to set the mood for the story of Katie Kim who had failed at committing suicide. Her attempt at suicide was unsuccessful and today she is grateful to have a second chance at life. Rough Waters is a documentary of Katie’s current endeavors.
Unfortunately, in the United States, there are about 44,193 successful suicides (American Foundation for Suicide Prevention). Katie was not one of these people and fortunately for us, Claire Imler and Troy Charbonnet record Katie’s story for anyone who suffers from depression and thoughts of suicide.
Rough Waters, is the story that depression sufferers may be waiting to hear. It’s relieving to know that someone out there was willing to take the time to understand and help conquer depression through a film. Depression and insecurity are carefully addressed in this documentary.
Rough Waters is comforting and calm in its use of light and shadow alongside the words of Katie. Katie is honest and speaks without stutter or pause. Her story is sincere and a revelation to anyone who views Rough Waters. Katie speaks so well that it’s unclear if she has rehearsed her words or if she’s able to speak about her problems naturally. If not, this is a true example of great editing.
As the title suggests, you’ll find yourself drowning from the weight of Katie’s words and focused on the images of the deep ocean and dark abyss of waves, cold water, and infinite sea. I use these words as descriptors of depression that were accurately represented in the intro of Rough Waters.
A ray of light cuts into the next scene with Katie’s words. Each cut and vision that is displayed as a translation of the feelings of depression. If Claire Imler and Troy Charbonnet’s goal was to explain depression, they nailed it. If their other goal was to help others get out of depression I believe they help. They at least help others understand the issue at hand.
By the end of the film, Katie has explained her thoughts, the voices in her head, and the way she was able to get out of her mind games. Katie had begun to focus on others instead of herself which is not the only thing that helped Katie out of depression but as she shares the other half of her story Claire Imler and Troy Charbonnet choose to deliver bright and sparkling images which bring light into the viewer’s eyes.
The conversation of depression and insecurity can be hard to talk about but Claire Imler and Troy Charbonnet make it easier to take in. This film brings people together. The alone, the scared, and the lost will find peace and reassurance from Rough Waters.
The choice of music and sound by the direction duo are excellent because they capture the mood of life’s journey throughout the film. The cinematography is seamless and is lifted up by the sound effect of shutters and running water yet they don’t take over Katie’s words which present a great balance.
Capturing mood in documentaries can be challenging but Rough Waters makes it look easy to do. There is no doubt that Rough Waters was edited over and over again. It has been perfected and the final product has won several awards including best documentary and best cinematography at the Orange County Film Festival. There’s no doubt in my mind that Rough Waters is deserving of all its merits.
By the end of the film, many will give a sigh of relief alongside Katie, The feeling of loneliness may disappear as you can uncover the darkness from your mind with understanding from Rough Waters that things will get better as Katie begins stepping back out into society.
Katie’s letter was delivered successfully thanks to Claire Imler and Troy Charbonnet for anyone with insecurity and depression because of the end emotional result you will experience. This film is for those who have endless war games in their mind and for those who suffer defeat from their mind battles.
Rough Waters can reinstall peace to depression sufferers and mind wanderers. Rough Waters will take you out of your mind for six minutes and those six minutes are more than enough time to recover restoration of purpose once again.
For anyone who cannot relate to the emotion of the film’s message, they can still agree that Rough Waters is inspiring and encouraging for anyone combatting depression.