The Snow Walker | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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The Snow Walker

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Charles Martin Smith, who played writer Farley Mowat in the 1983 wilderness drama Never Cry Wolf, returns to the frozen north as writer and director of this engrossing 2003 Canadian feature based on Mowat's story "Walk Well, My Brother." A callous World War II veteran (Barry Pepper) working as a bush pilot in the Northwest Territories cuts a deal with some Inuit natives to fly a tubercular young woman (Annabella Piugattuk) to a hospital, but after their plane goes down, in a particularly hair-raising sequence, he finds himself at the mercy of the land and her knowledge of it. The humbling of an arrogant white man is familiar stuff, but Smith renders the arctic wilderness so solidly that one understands how it might grind down a person's prejudices as easily as his body. PG, 103 min. Sun 12/26, 3:15 and 5:15 PM, and Mon-Thu 12/27-12/30, 6:15 and 8:15 PM, Gene Siskel Film Center.

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