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Down the River

Down the River

Directed by Daniel. H. Jacobson  |  Review by Triptayan Chatterjee

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he large landscape of a central African country populated with warlords, Delicate planning to smash the civil war calculated in the other side of the world, Cambodia and the role of the Israeli intelligence agency… this is the hinterland of the film DOWN THE RIVER. A tremendously tremor making screenplay, wonderful acting and editing, sharp dialogue, parallel running of the Hebrew and English language makes the film a masterpiece. It’s intriguing how although the film doesn’t show any rivers, but significantly the name of the film matches the flow of the sociopolitical incident in the central African country. There is no complicated theme or complicated scene, only the comparative story of the war in Sudan ad planning in Cambodia runs at par with each other. That is the main feature of the film DOWN THE RIVER.

Mossad is the intelligence agency of Israel. The film tries to show the role of Israel in international issues, particularly in the African region. To smash the warlords who aren’t recognized by the country Mossad plays a vital role. How the Mossad agents deal with notably a warlord named Musa Isa Musa is shown with a unique form of passion. Along with this mainstream fact, the sociopolitical situation of a war-torn country, the subtle life-taking games in high strata and the character of a warlord are perfectly portrayed. Nete Tezazon, the Mossad agent and the warlord Musa meets and interacts with each other. But what will be the consequence, nobody knows. The real story in socio-political arena, although fictional, is something “ordinary people” won’t see although it’s likely happening all the time. This mysterious story of DOWN THE RIVER surely will make the viewers engaged throughout the entire film.

The theme and the storyline of a film entirely are even more brought to life by simple yet effective editing. The editing of the film is following the demand of the script. The script is in a way, made strictly according to the demand of the theme of the film. It goes without saying that the final result is wonderful. The dialogues and the impressions of Musa and Nete are so catchy that sometimes we feel to be right there with them. Not only that, acting of these both characters have been carefully edited. In outdoor and indoor both the required light arrangement has been made uniquely. Shots after shots, images after images are carefully created so that the storyline never hampers the theme. If we look at the frames of film, we can easily find out how beautifully the arrangement made by the cinematographer. The appropriate cut is placed to make the story a grand success.

In a good cinema, film language is a vital factory playing in the film. Here only the situation, symbolization takes critical role than the traditional dramatic acting. The fact is that in the first scene of the film DOWN THE RIVER a good instance of film language, which is terrific and perfect. The Mossad agent looks at the mirror and his face is seen. These scenes raise various questions in the mind of the viewers, which are the actual questions of the films as well. The factors which are going to be answered are narrated in this scene. This apparently less important scene claims the most valuable part of the film. Before we even see the desert town, which is described in the film as Al Fashir in the film. A woman walks down in a subtle midshot with a small unknown village behind her. Her dress isn’t appropriately matched, indicating something dramatic is going to happen. And then the film turns towards its main theme and the storyline unfolds. The rest is left for the viewer to enjoy.


Triptayan is a filmmaker looking for a different horizon. Earlier a journalist Triptayan has done intensive research on film language and made different documentaries so far. He is now concentrating upon feature film in a vast landscape. Professionally a teacher, Triptayan has also passion for making films threaded with the international and universal thoughts.

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