Flow is a meditative journey along two rivers — the Ganges in India, and the Biobío in Chile — that serves as a junction between two similar but distinct ways of life. The film begins with impressions of rural lives in the highlands, where people tend livestock and split wood. Sheep cross a small wooden bridge over the Ganges, and cows graze in a wide valley beneath thick trees in Chile, while further down the rivers homes sit precariously on a hillside, surrounded by colourful blossoms. Women hand-wash clothing and sort rice as a game of cricket is played in the sand of the river bed — these human inhabitants appear only briefly, but leave an indelible impression of resourcefulness and humour. Though their portraits are fleeting, the river and its environment are seen as much through their eyes as they are through the lens of the camera.
As the river widens toward the sea, populations densify and urban life begins to dominate the shoreline. Still, it is often the quieter, non-human moments that deliver the greatest impact: a beach crammed with little boats, cows languidly traipsing across sand. Despite its title and framing structure, director Nicolás Molina does not dwell on rivers themselves but on the flow of life, emphasizing the universal necessity of human, animal, and natural confluence. -KR