This photograph was taken at Beatrice Lake, in BC’s Valhalla Park on June 2009, near the beginning of the shoot for my documentary film about David Suzuki (Force of Nature).
This alpine lake is where Suzuki used to escape and go fishing with his father when he was six years old and his family was interned in the Slocan Valley below. It holds a mystical place in the Suzuki narrative, where he and his father found a kind of freedom from the internment camps and his love of nature was born. He had climbed up here with his dying father a few years ago so his dad could see the lake one last time. I wanted to retrace those steps with Suzuki and explore those memories now, as he contemplates his own mortality.
It was a tough, two-day climb carrying production equipment, tents and provisions on our backs. We were all exhausted when we got to the top and by the time we’d set up camp it was a sunset. Trout were jumping in the lake — we caught our fill and cooked them on the campfire as dusk fell. Then Suzuki built a stone cairn in memory of his father and returned to the fire, where this picture was taken. When I look at it now, I see a moment of grace at the end of a grueling two-day hike, the moment when the subject of the film let down his guard and began to trust the filmmakers.