Canoeist and painter Bill Mason explores the Canadian wilderness to the north of Lake Superior.

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Bill Mason ...
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Canoeist and painter Bill Mason explores the Canadian wilderness to the north of Lake Superior.

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25 October 1985 (Canada)  »

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CAD 400,000 (estimated)
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One Man's Statement
14 January 2006 | by (Long Island, New York) – See all my reviews

This great film was my introduction to Bill Mason. My wife and I were in the local video store and rented it because we love canoeing. Later on the store went out of business, and we bought the same tape. When we bought it home, we found that it was played about halfway through. Why? Somebody rented it and just didn't get it. This is no criticism of the last renter though, there are a lot of reasons not to get this film.

Waterwalker's great strength and great weakness are both that it is Bill Mason's personal statement. That is great if you admire the man and/or if his outlook really resonates with you. Unfortunately since it is so personal, it meant nothing more to anybody than it did to Bill Mason himself, and the further away from him you are, the more likely it is not to hit the mark.

The result of this is despite the great success of some of his earlier films like Cry of the Wild, Waterwalker had very limited theatrical engagements and very rapidly headed for video. Still the same, how I'd love to see it on the big screen.

For myself, the film sparked a curiosity about who this man was and what he was trying to say, and these days "Waterwalker" is a better watch than ever. It is a favorite for a rainy Saturday afternoon when I'd rather canoe, but can't.


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