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Bill Mason's Paddle to the Sea (1966) is a 30-minute live-action Canadian short based on a children's book about a piece of wood sculpted as an Indian chief in a canoe, that journeys from the streams feeding Lake Superior to the open sea. "Paddle" isn't an animated character, nor does the narrator-of-few-words humanize him in any way. He's an object that the filmmaker follows, nature documentary-style down to the St.Lawrence river and beyond. It's up to us to give Paddle his thoughts; he is an enigmatic figure, sometimes silent witness, sometimes victim to animals, humans who would pluck him out of the water, and natural barriers. His journey is dangerous and LOOKS dangerous to the camera crew as well, with equipment seeming to go down into Niagara Falls, for example. An unusual viewing experience, quietly thrilling in its way.
Yeah, but I bet you watched it on youtube.
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