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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on June 21, 2004
Wow, I was literally guilted into seeing this in the theatre; and what a good thing it was that I went.

I have this on DVD now and the documentary is excellent. This CANADIAN made movie (shot in Manitoba, NWT, and BC) has shot to the top of my favorite list. Everyone I show it too is stunned by the terrific cast, photography, and outstanding story (quality A1).

Berry Pepper (I did not know any of the cast before) is absolutely outstanding. Annabelle Piugattuk (has so much chemistry with the it hits the viewer hard; there is something about her that extremely likeable (same for Berry); the the two work together in a wonderful way (so rare).

I know that the storyline looks tough to take (winter, cold) but I guarantee that this one will delight. The Pilot is essentially reborn, or transformed, by his experience. Men will like Barry's performance as it is not at all mush ... tough and believable.

After watching it about 3 times, some noteworthy things. The Owl, I think symbolizes someone watching (the girl?); the pilot's flashbacks to the war; the last flashback hits me so hard; don't know why but I just well up now with the change that occurs in it (what does the Raven mean?). The message I think is that "we are not alone". Feminists will love it of course, Annabella is something like 4'8" tall and amazes all. Again, the sight of her makes me well up ... maybe I'm just an emotional wreck these days.

The Director is Charles Martin Smith -- from The Untouchables, or American Graffitti (the one that got so sick from drinking).

Oh, if you have Home Theatre Speakers the talk with the Raven (I think it is a Raven) will sound awesome on your speakers .. it was cool in the theatre). Interesting, the words you hear whispered, were accidentally recorded when Annabella was practicing quietly with herself and the microphone was left on -- they said they actually found it when going throught the tapes.

So buy this DVD; outstanding!!!
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on August 22, 2004
Charles Martin Smith fell in love with the Canadian north when he starred in "Never Cry Wolf" 21 years ago. Now he returns to that beautiful, stark landscape as a director, and his love of the land is shown in the beautiful panoramic vistas that almost become a character unto themselves.
"The Snow Walker" is a simple story about cocky courier pilot Charlie (Barry Pepper) who reluctantly agrees to fly a young Inuit woman (Annabelle Piugattuk), sick with TB, to the hospital in Yellowknife. Naturally, things do not go as planned. The plane goes down and the two characters must fend for themselves in the barren landscape, their divergent personalities and cultural differences making things difficult at times, yet also enlightening. As days drag into weeks, a respectful bond grows between the pair and Charlie gradually comes to care for his companion, a member of a people Charlie had previously treated with cruel indifference.
Pepper, as always, is great, turning in a real performance as Charlie, a man facing his own survival and prejudices in the northern wilderness. And newcomer Piugattuk is delightful as the Inuit woman, her impressive performance showing us a culture we rarely have the opportunity to see. Small supporting roles by James Cromwell and Kiersten Warren are effective as well.
All in all, a very satisfying movie of survival and friendship against all odds.
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on November 11, 2006
The Snow Walker is a simple film which embodies the human spirit and teaches us to accept others for who they are.

Directed by Charles Martin Smith, this Canadian film is about a cocky bush pilot in the Canadian Arctic during the 1950's and the struggles he, and his extra passanger, endure after their plane goes down in the harsh, unforgiving tundra. During a routine run, Charlie (played by Barry Pepper), comes across a fishing party of Inuit people. After two of the men help Charlie with his cargo, he agrees to see something as per their request. What he discovers is a young Inuit girl. She is badly sick and needs to be in a hospital. After initial denail, the Inuit men persuade him with some ivory walrus tusks, a hefty trade he cannot refuse.

On their way to Yellowknife to find a hospital, their plane goes down because of engine failure. Unable to contact the outside world, this arrogant bigot, but somehow likeable man, is forced to try to survive on the unforgiving land.

The duo endure many hardships and Charlie learns that this young girl is far better off then he is. Even after his selfishness, she still helps him and heals him. What grows is an unbelieveable relationship (totally platonic) between the two people and really ends up and the centrepeice of the film.

An excellent film with great acting, directing, writing, everything is brilliant. Every frame you watch, you can see the love and respect Smith has for the beautiful land. An excellent feel-good film that should not be missed.
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on November 21, 2009
This film is verity. For anyone who has flown in the Arctic and sub-Arctic areas of Canada will recognize the stoicism of the Innuit, the raw courage and dash of most bush pilots. One will remember the the bleak wastes of the North and its cruelties and beauty whether in summer or winter.

The loss of his engine and the crash of his plane have stripped him of the ability to survive when searchers fail to find him as he is not in the search area. Disdain by the bush pilot for his tubercular Innuit hitch-hiker who saves his life slowly transforms to admiration, respect, tenderness and perhaps even a bit more.

The symbolism of the bush-pilot meeting other humans (Innuit) at the ending is heart-warming. One would like to think that he has found the people of his faithful guide, she who walked to her death into the Arctic wastes when she realized that, coughing tubercular blood, she could go no longer. It is implicit that he survives after all have given up hope for him and have actually had his funeral.
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on December 1, 2013
I rated this movie at 4 Stars because of the very limited flying involved & with that Hollywood view of course on flying especially in an emergency situation such as a dead engine. I won't go into proper procedure or mention of flight training of the real world as Hollywood does need sensationalism, action, etc. It really is too bad that a lot of real life pilots are turned off with Hollywood's portrayal of the actual world of flying as most pilots will just walk away from the movie not watching the movie in it's entirety just as in of course the movie "Never Cry Wolf". But,I guess that's a Hollywood trait instilled into most movies. If a person can get past the above aircraft scenes in both movies "Snow Walker" & "Never Cry Wolf" both movies have a lot to offer. The scenery & landscapes are introduced in all their beauty & ruggedness. We have to thank Charles Martin Smith & crew for that. Also a glimpse into the Inuit world that I find refreshing as these people have been stereo-typed by the ignorance of the outside world as I & others have witnessed. Believe me my best friend worked out of Churchill as a Bush Pilot & I myself grew up next to a native family both working with & living amongst with close ties to last forever for both my friend & all of us. At least these two movies are revealing to other races that they the Inuit are very talented people being able to survive in conditions never dreamt of by most. As in Kanaalaq's sense of survival she just treated their predicament as another daily problem to overcome. She was never really on the verge of losing it like our pilot Charlie. (Just as with Tyler's saviour "Ootek" of course in the movie "Never Cry Wolf") Also as in real life Charlie is learning of a people that he had envisioned on a lower level to his own. How could anyone not fall in love with a lady of Kanaalag's beauty along with her real life talents of survival & heritage. The ruggedness of the terrain as the search pilot plainly referred to as death is brought to light & very true. James Cromwell played a very convincing part as the "Big Guy" in charge of the Air Service. I found the DVD extras very interesting & of course contemplated about the Polar Bear presence in the vicinity of the movie crew & actors. Charles Martin Smith has obviously fallen in love with the Canadian North & although there is a few low star ratings on these two movies at least Charles is giving the public a view into another part of this world most will never view in real life. Both survival & honour to others through giving up one's life enabling the other to survive. I found it touching as Charlie placed Kanaalag's sewing kit & few tools with her for her next voyage as she had taught Charley when together they buried the remains of the pilot they found in the wrecked Beech 18.Regardless of the Hollywood type aircraft scenes I feel both movies have something to offer. I still pull out "Never Cry Wolf" at least a few times per year & I firmly expect to do the same with "Snow Walker". 4 STARS for both movies.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon October 4, 2013
When Charlie Halliday, an ex - WWII pilot, takes off in his bush plane in Canada's far north, his life is about to dramatically change, and he doesn't know it. When he delivers his cargo at a designated site, he's asked to take a sick, young Inuit woman to the hospital in Yellowknife. Reluctantly, he agrees as he's given a gift of valuable tusks. Charlie's always looking to make a buck. The plane crashes, stranding the two in the middle of the tundra, far away from any known civilization. The story continues from there, as we travel with Charlie and Kanaalaq on a journey of tremendous hardship and endurance. Charlie, in his selfish, egotistical manner, and his extreme prejudice against the Inuit, believes that it's all up to him to save them. Gradually, along their journey, he discovers that it's Kanaalaq who is saving him. During their time together, Charlie has a heart transplant and learns that his ignorance of the Inuit people has led him into the worst kind of bigotry.

I daresay that at least some of us find ourselves in Charlie, and we, too have a change of heart through experiencing this story. The beginning of the movie and often the language throughout, are rough, but I believe it's in keeping with the message of the story and needful to expose Charlie's character. The acting is superb. The photography amazing. The ending is a heart wringer. This is a story that is probably good for all of us to see.
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on December 28, 2010
While not a big Farley Mowat fan (OK, I think he's an insufferable, preachy blowhard 9 times out of 10), I was familiar with The Snow Walker's director, Charles Martin Smith, in Never Cry Wolf, and found out about this movie as an instructive survival story.

The story, cast, direction and production values are all outstanding. I found the film particularly moving as someone very important to me looks very much like Annabella Piugattuk, and acts to a great extent like Kanaalaq, and I could easily see this woman doing what Kanaalaq does near the end of the trek.

This film deserved wider exposure, and is a credit to Canadian film making (albeit with an excellent American director), high praise from me since I am no booster of the usually mediocre output of "Canadian Culture". Hopefully, Canadian Barry Pepper will continue to build on his excellent performances, most recently in True Grit, and that Annabella Piugattuk can build further on her success here.
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on October 30, 2009
I just loved this film, and I've mentioned this film many times to family and friends.

This is a good example of the expression "never judge a man until you've walked a mile in his moccasins"... literally in this case.

The other reviewers here have provided a good synopsis of the film.

There are so many memorable scenes that depict the huge differences between "modern man" with his technology and equipment vs. the "simple" way of life of the people that have lived in the north for centuries. Some of my favorites: the morning the pilot wakes up and is greeted by "a few" flying critters, and the hunting scene.

This film also works well for anyone who does not understand english so well... there is not a lot of dialouge.

Highly recommended!
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on November 15, 2014
A very powerful and moving story about survival and developing a friendship across culture. I would have liked the end to be a bit more telling though, and though the movie is entitled "Snow Walker", that situation of walking on snow only made up the last 5 to 10 minutes of the movie. So I thought the name really didn't fit the story though I understand why. A better title would have been "Against All Odds", but a very enjoyable movie nonetheless.
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on May 17, 2014
Good movie. A bush pilot and a young Inuit woman crash in the barren wilderness. They both survive and must face incredible odds to make it back to civilization. Even though she is very sick and weak, she helps him and nurses him back to health when he is hurt. They go as far as they can together, but eventually only one survives. very touching and heartwarming movie.
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