Healing Waters is a visually stunning and thought-provoking biopic documenting the life and career of renowned photographer Linda Troeller. Her work explores the spiritual properties of water and the intricate aspects of female sexuality. Directed by Derek Johnson, the film presents a mesmerizing narrative that gracefully blends elements of personal discovery, artistry, and feminism.
Johnson tells us that he was inspired to make the film about his longtime friend and mentor as a thank you for the support she’s given him over the years and as a way to immortalize her story. Johnson blends documentary style storytelling with dramatic reimaginings of Troeller’s life and childhood. He tells us that during filming, Troeller lost a large amount of her archive in a house fire, and in collaborating, Johnson decided he was going to, “create more scenes to help share her story and the things that got her to where she is today.” Through her lens, the audience is transported to breathtaking natural landscapes and ethereal underwater worlds. Each frame is meticulously composed with close attention to detail that enhances the sensory experience. In the film, William E. Williams tells us that, “A lot of her work has dealt with photographing people, particularly women, in vulnerable, private moments. And I think that is a projection of herself, because she’s been there. I would say that her work is very honest in that way.”
What sets Healing Waters apart is its unapologetic exploration of female sexuality. Troeller’s work intertwines the flowing movements of water with the female form, resulting in a visually striking representation of empowerment and self-discovery. Troeller talks about the power of the female vision, telling us, “there is a powerful inner area that you’re always searching for the ship out at sea. That you are the sea, this realm around you.” The film’s thematic exploration is supported by a mesmerizing soundtrack composed of haunting melodies and soothing sounds of water. The music seamlessly blends with the visuals, enhancing the emotional resonance of each scene. Combined with the cinematography, the result is an immersive experience that engages the senses and invites introspection. Overall, Healing Waters is a bold and captivating biopic that weaves together Troeller’s exploration of water’s metaphysical properties with an unflinching examination of the female vision. It challenges conventional narratives and provokes introspection. With its breathtaking visuals, remarkable performances, and gripping storytelling, this film leaves a lasting impression on anyone open to embracing the healing waters in their own lives.
Healing Waters screens at the 2023 New Jersey International Film Festival (TODAY) Saturday, June 10. The film will be Online for 24 Hours and In-Person at 5 PM in Voorhees Hall #105/Rutgers University, 71 Hamilton Street, New Brunswick, NJ. Tickets are available for purchase here. Linda Troeller and Derek Johnson will be present to do a Q+A after in the in-person screening!