The video features Waters and his band performing the song in the studio juxtaposed with emotional footage of a scarred flamenco dancer preparing for a performance as painful memories anguish her. Azzura, who previously appeared in Waters’ harrowing “The Last Refugee” video, plays the dancer.
“We met Azzura, the actress/dancer, while doing a casting for the part in ‘The Last Refugee,'” Waters’ Film and Creative Director Sean Evans told Rolling Stone.
“That part called for a woman who was an experienced flamenco dancer and who could convincingly have a mother/daughter interaction with a child actress. Azzura was perfect: she’s a trained dancer and when not dancing, she works with kids. She did such a fantastic job during the filming of ‘The Last Refugee,’ that Roger and I wanted to include her in ‘Wait for Her.’ The song has a yearning that we felt a band performance alone wouldn’t quite address.”
The lyrics to “Wait for Her” were inspired by the late Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish’s “Lesson From the Kama Sutra (Wait for Her),” which also informed the video. “When Roger wrote this song, his adaptation of the poem took on a sensual yet melancholy tone, and the video needed to represent that,” Evans said. “It needed to show femininity and sexuality but also needed to have an air of loss and pain, and longing for a time that was.”
As for the dancer’s scar in the video, Evans said, “That mark was important to the video – it is a symbol of the physical torment refugees endure.” The scar, like the lyrics on Is This the Life We Really Want?, is symbolic of the tragic death of three-year-old Syrian boy Alan Kurdi, a refugee whose body washed up on a Turkey shore in September 2015, as well as the work of German photographer Kai Wiedenhöfer.
“It is sort of a continuation and also sort of a prelude,” Evans said of “The Last Refugee” and “Wait for Her.” “They are companion pieces, but are not meant to live in linear time with each other. Both were intentionally created that way and are meant to be open to interpretation.” Evans added that he and Waters have ideas for further chapters in the story.