The recently late artist Christo Vladimirov Javacheff and his late wife and collaborator Jeanne-Claude are celebrated for wrapping monuments and natural features in huge swathes of brightly coloured fabric. In 2016, Christo, then 81, decided to create a work originally planned with his wife in 1970: a floating plastic walkway across Lake Iseo in northern Italy, to be called ‘The Floating Piers’. Some 45,000 people were expected to cross every day; by the second day the numbers had reached 20,000 an hour, and the installation had to close down - temporarily. In July 2018, ‘The Floating Piers’ attracted a staggering - maybe literally - 1.2 million visitors. Walking on Water is a revelatory documentary recounting the history of the project from conception to realisation and beyond. Along the way, director Andrey Paounov casts light on fellow-Bulgarian Christo’s processes and his often confrontational personality. He never picked up much English, French or Italian, so oversaw the realisation of his vast installations using brief commands, barked at his lieutenants - a behavioural trait clearly evident in the film!
“The artist’s forceful character does battle with technology, bureaucracy, corruption and the elements, resulting in an installation of stunning beauty and a documentary that delights in capturing the act of creation.” - Variety.
“Short on details but long on delight…” - The New York Times.