“The skillful cinematography and nuanced directing of the cast—all lay actors whom the director found in this Sicilian big city—make this a welcome reminder of what cinema can still do. Indeed, the film understands the important distinction between authenticity and realism. It is one thing to cast a young man from a displaced persons’ camp as the refugee who will set off a tragic chain of events or an amateur boxer as a troubled version of himself as Acqua fuori dal Ring has done. But the film succeeds in translating this authenticity into a realism of the gesture: the silent desperation of the pregnant immigrant whose husband gets deported and the boxer’s frustration are expressed in their milieu with an impeccable timing. As Stangle explained, the language barrier made it easier for him to concentrate on the visuals, which are striking and add to the film’s haunting beauty reminiscent of the heyday of Italian Neo-realism.”
Oliver C. Speck, FILM INTERNATIONAL.
“Young Joel Stangle immerses himself into the (neo) multi-ethnic fabric of our country, immediately adopting a view filtered through myth, in an original and compelling dramatic construction.”
Peter Masciulo, Sentieri Selvaggi.
“…it is the soundtrack, which is as Sicilian as it gets, to hear witness to centuries of gypsy presences in a land that has been a crossroads for trade to and from the area of North Africa, the Near and Middle East. An island, in which the film becomes a ring surrounded by water.”
Monica Straniero, cinemaitaliano.info.
“With a no-frills aesthetic and dry, straightforward language, through the swollen eyes and clenched fists of two
boys who jostle for a future, the film depicts the current political tensions over immigration between Europe and
Africa. In search of extreme realism, Stangle chose non-professional actors and adapted his characters to the
young people involved. Without the addition of superstructures or adopting classical dynamics which regulate the
shooting of a film, Acqua fuori dal Ring confirms boxing as the most cinematographic sport there is, as well as
the talent of this young American-born director of a European mother.”
“An increasing number of migrants or their children who grew up in Italy, get behind the camera to tell their stories in first person or the problems of coexistence with the host society… in Acqua fuori dal Ring by Joel Stangle, migrants or children of the second generation, are in front of the camera interpreting themselves, suggesting a large part of the script themselves and giving rise to a realism in the film, worthy of a documentary.”