The Saugeen River was named Sauking, "where it all flows out," by the Ojibwa in the early 1800s. It runs into Lake Huron, in central Ontario. The place where I know it is twenty miles south of Owen Sound, near Williamsford, where I spent lots of time in my youth exploring. Over the past twelve years I've returned there to film, and collected these moments in a fifteen-minute meditation called simply, "river."
In 1997, I arrived with a wind-up 16mm Bolex and one roll of 16mm colour film; in 1981 with a half inch, reel-to-reel black-and-white video portapak; in 1984, indoors now, I used a rear screen set up to copy the footage shot in 1979, another return. Finally, in 1989, I went for the first time beneath the surface of the water, the 16mm camera loaded with the "mysterious" black and white hi-con printer stock. The film is an archaeology of how I have come to know this river over these years. (PH)