TIFF 2016 Review: The River of My Dreams
Watching a documentary on the life and career of Gordon Pinsent feels like it has the potential to be an absolute non-entity, a hagiography of the highest order.
Luckily, Brigitte Berman has no such interest in such a production, instead suffusing the documentary with a proper metaphor about a river, some incredibly candid interviews with Pinsent and his circle of friends and associates and animated sequences to boot. The film feels like an intimate portrait of Pinsent’s life and yet something more than this, as the unspoken sentiment is that Pinsent is a legend, but he is our legend. He belongs to Canada and not to America, (which can be contrasted by somebody like Donald Sutherland, or especially Christopher Plummer, who appears in the film, as legendary actors on both sides of the border that just happen to be Canadian, and not just Canadian actors.
Therefore, the documentary should play in certain circles with audience members that are aware of the gigantic talent of Pinsent, and hopefully will educate about mythmaking on a local level.