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World Wildlife Fund (Canada), 1989. VHS cassette, 24:30 min., $99.00
Distributed by Coronet Film & Video

Grades 7 and up/Ages 12 and up
Reviewed by David H. Elias.

Volume 19 Number 1
1991 January

Part of the "World Wildlife Fund Video Collection," Pictures on Water follows Leona Boyd as she travels by canoe down the Missinaibi River. Her destination is a native settlement on James Bay, where she is scheduled to give a concert. Boyd also acts as narrator and provides the background music.

There's some fine camera work in this film. The images are a well-edited blend of wildlife and wilderness terrain. Scattered among these scenes are shots of human intrusion, e.g., railroads, mines, ruins. In addition, we get to see a lot of Leona Boyd - wearing every­thing from a mosquito net to a pink life jacket! Boyd is clearly new to such rugged surroundings, but she brings a certain grace to the wilderness with her delicate presence.

It's all very low key and easy to watch and listen to - so easy, in fact, that youngsters may not stay with this presentation for long. One drawback is that the video format really doesn't do the film justice. So many of the images are just made for the big screen.

It's not certain that this film, unlike the Missinaibi River, ever gets where it's going. The whole thing has the feel of a travelogue, but this need not be a criticism. I, for one, found this approach a refreshing change from the brow­beating "The environment! Save it or else!" kind of thing we're getting so much of these days.

David H. Elias, Winnipeg, Man.
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