Get prepared for probing essay about overcoming disability to enjoy life’s simple pleasures. Filmed in Serbia, it shows three unlikely characters coming to terms with their feelings for one another. Oasis demonstrates a fondness for the little victories that can occur should our hearts be open to them.
Serbian director Ivan Ikić focuses on real-life patients, each of them living in a building for people with various disabilities. No, it’s not breaking any new ground, but there’s something strangely poetic about the film, as actors/patients peer into windows, locked in their own thoughts and imagination. It takes great courage to spend so much time inside one building (Covid has made this too great a reality for everyone in Britain), but the patients show great restraint, and take up hobbies that help the day pass quicker.
One of the hobbies is washing clothes, and it’s at a laundromat where two of our protagonists meet. Their eyes lock, but they say nothing, and return to their chore in hand. And yet there in the shot, we see just how great the feelings are between them, both searching for the feelings-not forgetting the words- by which to define this moment. In a sense, it’s basically a silent movie, as audiences are drawn into a world where words don’t have the same weight in the same way they do outside the building.
The performances are raw, unvarnished and rooted in their surroundings. In this instance, the film doesn’t need a conventional narrative, as the reality of the work does the heavy lifting for the audience and the crew. Caught in their own lives, comes the unity of three disparate voices, each of them that bit more grateful having experienced it.
At two hours, the film is that little too long, and there’s only many times a camera can swoon over a staircase and make it look lyrical. Yet the film is ultimately solid, and does much to showcase that it is possible to enjoy life, even in the most confined of spaces. And in the midst of an eighteen month pandemic, that’s exactly the message Britain needs to hear right now.
Watch Oasis during the entire month of December for free, only with ArteKino.