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Drowning Witness: Suffering and Subjectivity in Das Purpurmeer



This is one piece in a collection of 10 film reviews submitted by this year’s New Wave Jury members at Cornwall Film Festival 2021. The collection tackles recent films that stood out as radical works of filmmaking. You can read the other reviews here.


I am unsure if a review of Das Purpurmeer (2020) is ethically warrantable. I am wary that these words may veil and confine this more-than-just-observational documentary. Directed by Khaled Abdulwahed and Amel Alzakout, this sixty-minute witness of live suffering, screaming, fear, drowning, and death. Das Purpurmeer is radical cinema of paramount importance. Its witness calls for act