Dir: Eric Steel. UK-US. 2013. 80mins
An elegant and fascinating delight, Kiss The Water is made with insight, intelligence and a painterly delight in perhaps one of the most unusual of documentary subjects – the lyrical story a rare and enigmatic Scottish woman who became a legend in the world of making flies for salmon fishing.
It also acts as a brilliant advertisement for the beauties of Scotland and features some astonishingly painted animation by filmmaker Em Cooper.
Directed with simplicity and charm by Eric Steel (whose last film was the rather different The Bridge, about suicides at San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge), the film dwells on the strange charm of fly fishing and the unusual habits of salmon while charting the life story of a an equally beguiling woman who taught herself the art of fly-tying and would go on to make flies for royalty.
Following a world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival, the film screened at its spiritual home, the Edinburgh International Film Festival, but should also be a shoe-in at other film festivals. It also acts as a brilliant advertisement for the beauties of Scotland and features some astonishingly painted animation by filmmaker Em Cooper.
The core of the film is the story of Scottish Highlander Megan Boyd, always an outsider – androgynous to look at and always wore a tie – who taught herself fly-tying from a book. Living in a remote house with no electricity she was an enigmatic figure and would come to be the favourite fly-tier for Prince Charles (or Charlie as she always called him) who would occasionally visit her at her remote house.
There is no actual footage of Megan until the film’s final moments, instead Steel cross-cuts between footage of her now ramshackle house; interviews with those who knew her or worked with her, or simply talk about salmon fishing; atmospheric footage of Scotland at its most beautiful and Em Cooper’s stunning animation.
Production Companies: Easy There Tiger, Slate Films
Contact: Easy There Tiger, www.easytigerproductions.com
Producers: Eric Steel, Kate Swan
Executive producer: Andrea Calderwood
Cinematography: Ole Bratt Birkeland
Editor: Sabine Krayenbuhl
Animation director: Em Cooper
Music: Paul Cantelon
Music: Paul Cantelon