Obtaining water microstructures is very difficult because of low viscosity and high surface tension. We produced stable freestanding thin films of pure water by x-ray bombardment of small liquid volumes in capillary tubes. A detailed characterization with phase-contrast radiology demonstrated a lifetime beyond 1 h with no chemical stabilizer for micron-thickness films with half-millimeter-level diameter. This can be attributed to the interplay of two x-ray effects: water evaporation and surface charging. (C) 2008 American Institute of Physics.