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1953. Charlie Halliday, a former WWII fighter pilot, is a Yellowknife-based bush pilot. Like many of the white in the area, he does not associate with the Inuit except for what he can get out of them in bartering. On a personal plane trip, he runs across a small family of nomadic Inuit. The female of the group, named Kanaalaq, has what Charlie suspects is tuberculosis. In exchange for some ivory, Charlie agrees to fly her to a hospital in Yellowknife. En route back to the city, Charlie is forced to make a crash landing when the plane develops mechanical problems. Although both Charlie and Kanaalaq are unharmed by the crash, the plane is totaled, they are in the middle of nowhere, the radio doesn't seem to be working, they have a meager amount of supplies, and Charlie's whereabouts are probably unknown to others since he made a detour from his original route. Furthermore, they can't communicate with each other as Kanaalaq only knows a few words of English, whereas Charlie knows no ... Written by
Winter scenes were shot in -28 C (-18 F) weather - -45 C (-49 F) with wind chill. See more »
With catastrophic engine failure, aircraft (particularly 1940's Norseman, built specifically for rugged bush flying) don't generally lose steering control. The failed engine, after blowing a head gasket would shut down almost immediately, not continue to run. The aircraft would glide with stability even though the engine wouldn't be running, and it wouldn't be very difficult to control, because the engine systems are completely separate from the cable/pulley control-surface systems. See more »
Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth, And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings; Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth Of sun-split clouds, - and done a hundred things You have not dreamed of - Wheeled and soared and swung High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung My eager craft through footless halls of air... Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace Where never lark or...
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Every once and a while a movie comes along that is meant to be, in my humble opinion, seen. The Snow Walker is that movie.
The storyline is simple: a bush pilot is asked to bring a young sick Inuit girl to a Yellowknife hospital but the plane crashes in the Canadian tundra. As simple as that. What develops between the two characters is a bond that only two people trying to survive in that situation could experience.
Charles Martin Smith's direction is perfect. He gives both Barry Pepper and Annabella Piugattuk free rein in their performances that gives us the impression of improvisation. Their friendship enfolds slowly, as any friendship would, if you where with a stranger battling the tundra, which in this movie, is almost like a third character. As flat and as barren as the tundra may appear, it is shot in such a way that has your eye searching for detail as if you were looking at a painting.
The Snow Walker is an example of straightforward storytelling that proves the fact that less is sometimes more. There are no car chases, no gunfights and yet I found myself completely engrossed. I came upon this movie by chance when I read the review in a local newspaper that gave it 4 stars and yet I never saw a single trailer or advertisement for it.
What a shame that this great movie will not be seen by a larger audience.
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