This simple short film has a profound message. Bill Williams, born crippled, deaf and borderline mentally challenged on Vancouver Island, tells us his story humbly and with humour and restraint. We drive with him on one of his many trips to help his First Nations neighbours along the flowing river. Scenes of its beauty sooth us as they are intercut with the harrowing details of Bill’s life of abusive foster care and alcoholism. And the clear water becomes a powerful symbol of transformation as Bill explains how he has achieved balance, serenity and a productive life.
Bill Williams and director Jon Funder in attendance
Bill Williams was born with clubfeet and severe deafness at the Nootka Mission Hospital in Esperanza, BC. Early on, Bill was diagnosed with borderline retardation and was taken away to live with at a foster home. His foster family, the Williams, raised and abused Bill throughout his childhood in Port Alberni. At the age of 12, Bill was lucky enough to have his hearing restored and legs corrected through a long series of painful operations. Bill worked hard in school and managed to acquire a post secondary education, started a ministry for street people, and now works as a driver for his First Nations community. Bill struggled for years with an alcohol addiction, but realized that the way to move forward was through the act of forgiveness.
Jon Funder is a young documentary filmmaker from Copenhagen, Denmark. In 2011, Jon was awarded a full scholarship to study at Lester B. Pearson United World College located just outside Victoria. Jon has a strong belief in the potential for social change through the media of documentary filmmaking and has been working on a series of projects in Denmark, Canada and most recently in Sierra Leone. Jon Funder and is now currently studying film and biology at Kenyon College in Ohio where he hopes to develop his documentary film career.