"Digger" is one of those movies that somehow miraculously gets made against all the odds. It is haunting, intelligent, beautifully filmed, slow-paced, and spiritual. Most contemporary audience members are likely to go to sleep while trying to view this film, if they even know that it exists. The other 5% of its audience are in for a deep experience that soaks in slowly.
It is the story of a pair of best friends, and the wisdom that the older boy shares with the younger, which changes him forever. Joshua Jackson delivers one of the finest performances by a young actor in the 90s. He plays "Billy" as if he were the reincarnation of an ancient Native American shaman (complete with an owl familiar). It is a tour de force, of the same calibre as Osment's work in "The Sixth Sense" and "A.I."
This film is for fans of Katherine Paterson's novels, "The Cure" (1995, directed by Peter Horton), and quiet, muted masterpieces that reveal themselves over time. Bonus points for the beautiful scenery of the island (Brentwood Bay, B.C.), a fine score featuring the lovely instrumental talents of Darol Anger and Bill Douglas, and the presence of the magnificent Olympia Dukakis.