Review: Walking on Water (2019 LVFF)


Title: Walking on Water
Rating: NR
Director: Andrey Paounov
Starring: Christo Vladimirov Javacheff
Runtime: 1 hr 45 mins

What It Is: Famed Bulgarian artist Christo, known for his larger-than-life art works sets out to establish his latest piece. Passionate and hard-headed, Christo goes about his notoriety by constantly spreading word of his plans of building a large golden pathway spanning, aka “The Floating Piers.” This documentary captures the construction and consequences of the piece, an idea Christo originally conceived years ago with his late wife Jeanne-Claude.

What We Think: A fairly interesting and entertaining film about a very interesting man. At times peaceful though most other times busy and chaotic, it’s an interesting ride from Point A to Point B when seeing this accomplished artist give as much as he can to this work of art: an experience for people to enjoy that is also dedicated to his wife. The effort, though sometimes reaching a level of one-track-mind ridiculousness, makes for a compelling story. Christo and his company are wonderful subjects to follow, all of whom have moments of exuberance as well as frustration as things fall apart. The structure of the film itself is fine, though it seems to slow in pacing quite a bit in the middle. In my viewing experience, I felt it could have been shortened some and edited more to the point. The soundtrack, meditative, is lovely. It’s shot beautifully, with care and admiration for its central characters. There are some incredible little moments that come out of the images captured: whether they are grand or minute observations, it’s something to be appreciated and admired within itself.

Our Grade: B, The only drawback for me is this: what the film is centered on, what it is essentially about and is Christo’s driving force throughout is an art piece that connects him to his wife. That being said, I would like to know more about her, hear and see him talk about her, what their relationship was like and where it was left, etc. I would’ve liked to have seen that aspect colored in, rather than feeling kept in the dark about what feels like an important part of the picture. Nonetheless, it’s worth a watch if you’re a fan and/or follower of the visual arts in this unique exploration of one man’s massive and idyllic vision come to life.

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Chai Simone Written by: