Watch The Water Is Wide
- 1 hr 41 min
The Water Is Wide is a 2006 drama film directed by John Kent Harrison and based on the memoir of the same name by Pat Conroy. The movie stars Jeff Hephner, Frank Langella, and Julianne Nicholson. The story takes place in 1969 when a young white teacher named Pat Conroy (Hephner) arrives on the island of Yamacraw, off the South Carolina coast. The island is populated by a mostly African American community, and Conroy has been hired to teach the children in the island's one-room schoolhouse. At first, Conroy is optimistic about his new job and eager to make a difference in the lives of his students. However, he quickly realizes that the students are severely under-educated and that the conditions on the island are dire. The schoolhouse is barely standing, and there is no running water or electricity. The children are malnourished and often absent due to the harsh living conditions. Despite these challenges, Conroy is determined to make a difference. He begins to teach the children in unconventional ways, using music and dance to make learning fun. He also starts to build relationships with his students, listening to their stories and trying to understand their culture. However, Conroy's unconventional teaching methods and his close relationships with his students soon draw the ire of the island's white residents. They view Conroy as a threat to their way of life and start to mount a campaign against him. Meanwhile, Conroy finds an unlikely ally in the form of the island's only doctor, Dr. Piedmont (Langella). Dr. Piedmont is initially hostile to Conroy, but he gradually comes to recognize that the teacher is genuinely concerned about the welfare of his students. The two men form an unlikely friendship, with Dr. Piedmont becoming Conroy's confidant and advisor. Throughout the movie, Conroy is continually confronted with the injustices and inequalities faced by the island's residents. He sees firsthand how the lack of access to education, healthcare, and basic amenities keeps the islanders oppressed and struggling. Conroy's growing awareness of these issues drives him to fight for change, even as the odds stack against him. The Water Is Wide is a powerful drama that tackles issues of race, class, and education in the United States. It portrays the systemic barriers faced by marginalized communities and the heroic efforts of those who fight against them. The film's themes are still relevant today, and it serves as a poignant reminder of the ongoing struggle for social justice.