POUR the WATER as I LEAVE
Pour the Water as I Leave is an animated hybrid documentary that tells a story about what happened to Bosnians 25 years ago and how it relates to refugees of the world today. Through poetic narrative and dance choreography, this story bears witness to a sobering document of war, survival and hope.
“A film about rebuilding, it will likely be heavy but invigorating viewing."
Pour the Water as I Leave is an animated documentary feature film about the exodus of Bosnian people after the Bosnian Civil War in the 1990s and how their experiences relate to the refugees of the world today. It is a story that reveals what it takes to go through the war zone, become a refugee and find a new home in a foreign country. Structured as a hybrid between fiction and non-fiction, the story follows the two protagonists, a man and a woman, attempting to escape Bosnia in the height of the conflict of 1993. On their path they encounter real Bosnian people, seven interviewees from Tuzla region BiH, whose testimonies ground the fictional characters into lived experiences.
The arc of the story relies on the balance between dance choreography, documentary and magical realism within animation. This poetic structure creates two parallel timelines that collide and form a unifying vision, offering the audience insights into a timeless struggle caused by forced displacement. The two main characters, the woman and the man, are the embodiment of collective struggle. Through dance choreography they speak a universal body language that offers a line of communication between the past and present with intent to make space for empathy and understanding of the current refugee crisis in the world.
The film is narrated by the director Daniela Repas, whose personal experiences of war and refugee life are echoed by those of the interviewees. Her presence puts the film into a first person perspective, creating a sense of intimate storytelling between the maker and her audience. She narrates in English, which grounds the story in present life in the US and contrasts with the interviewees who speak in their Bosnian native tongue.
As the two main characters, the woman and the man, navigate through a besieged country, they experience civilian and military aspects of the war zone. They encounter real Bosnian people, the interviewees, as they move through city landscapes, households, and military spaces. The mutual attraction between them becomes unattainable as the narrative unfolds and exodus is inevitable. The film ends with all participants, real and fictional, occupying one single thread of existence. With its foundation in Bosnia, the story opens up to cultures beyond her border.
Director, Writer, Animator
KYLIE SHEA LEWALLEN
Director of Animation
Director of Photography
Still photographer / Dance Set Art Director