Ariztical Entertainment announced this past week that British filmmaker Kate Lane’s feature-length directorial debut, Fear of Water, will be making its way to the domestic home entertainment marketplace on Sept. 12.
In the late 1950s and early 1960s Fear of Water would be right at home with the Kitchen Sink realism of that period — akin to A Taste of Honey, The L-Shaped Room, A Kind of Loving, The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, etc. Based on actual experiences in Lane’s own life (script is by Edward Davenport), we meet Alexia (Lily Loveless — perhaps best known as Naomi in the television series Skins), who is welfare-class poor and hustles drugs and other odd jobs to put food on the table.
Her father is disabled, her mother is a drunk … these living conditions, and the environment that goes with it, have made her tough beyond her young years … she wants something better, but lacks a clear path out of her loneliness; her despair.
Eleanor (Chloe Partridge — The Crypt, Blood Lust), on the other hand, is from wealth and privilege. Her father is a barrister (a fancy word for lawyer), who is almost hostile in having his teenage daughter home from boarding school … she’s an inconvenience. To complicate things further, her grandmother dies on the day she returns home from school and her mother has long since abandoned the family. Educated and free from financial worries, she too is nevertheless alone; she is adrift.
By happenstance the two meet, form a bond of friendship and find solace in meeting at a quiet lake area (although Eleanor is afraid of the water). Their friendship blossoms into a genuine affection as they discover — although from different sides of the proverbial “tracks” — that they have much in common.
This friendship will be tested as their respective “environments” have a nasty way of reaching out and saying “no, no, no.”
Fear of Water is a lovely coming of age film that tests the status quo (rebellious daughter; a young woman not knowing her place) and is blessed with gorgeous cinematography (Nick Lowen in his first feature-length film … although a “camera operator” on such Brit series as Midsomer Murders and William and Mary). Be sure to mark Sept. 12 on your viewing calendar for this late-summer respite.