Directed by Tony Ayers.
Running Time: 90 mins
Rated: MA 15+
Walking on Water is a story about death and survival. The film spends a great deal of time showing the death of Gavin (David Bonney), who is dying of an AIDS-related illness. The family gathers, his dominant mother, his brother who has never left Whyalla and is unconsciously envious of his older brother, his wife and baby daughter. Gavin was an architect who shared a house with his business partner Anna (Theodorakis) and with
Charlie (Colosimo). Charlie is living with Frank (Nicholas Bishop) in the house. They are all present at Gavin's death when he is given extra morphine by a doctor. However, there are involuntary physical reactions and Charlie feels the need to put a bag over Gavin's head in order to stop his suffering.
The slow and poignant film shows the aftermath of the death, the funeral and the family and the friends gathering. It also shows the tension between Charlie and Anna, who have been asked by Gavin to look after each other as they inherit his house. Simon goes out on the town but his relationship with Anna and his drug-taking and club-going bring about a
physical collapse and he returns home.
There are sex scenes and language which will offend some viewers.
Walking on Water hinges around happiness and goodness. For most of the film no one seems to have much of either virtue, but by the end, when the group scatters the Gavin's ashes on the water we get the sense that they are perhaps now walking on water rather than just simply treading in it.
Fr Peter Malone MSC is the International President of SIGNIS: the Catholic Association for Communications.
Richard Leonard SJ