"Waterwalker" is a chronicle of artist/filmmaker/canoeist Bill Mason's experiences during several months spent "roughing it" in the beautiful, rugged, unsullied wilds around Lake Superior.
Nothing extraordinary happens; it's simply a man canoeing and enjoying nature, completely unencumbered by thoughts of the stress, obligations, pollution, and fast pace of city life. Mason paddles aimlessly from here to there (followed by his cameraman, who does a superb job juggling the difficult logistics), occasionally stopping to pull out his painting gear to capture a particularly scenic view; as an added bonus, his paintings are quite accomplished. Mason's laid back, sometimes wry narration adds to the film's captivating serenity, but his intermittent religious musings, although innocuous, become wearisome after a while. The pretentious use of the voice-over of a Native Indian solemnly intoning platitudes also detracts slightly.
Bruce Cockburn's folksy music score complements the film nicely though.
"Waterwalker" casts a spell on those of us who are enthralled by the tranquility and timelessness of the natural world. We live Mason's adventures vicariously, and the film instills a yearning to follow his lead and "chuck it all".
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