All the Time in the World is near perfection

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      A documentary by Suzanne Crocker. Rating unavailable.

      When Suzanne Crocker and her family left the already cloistered community of Dawson City, Yukon, they knew they were only going deeper into their journey away from the urban and the overcrowded. But even in a town of 1,500, it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day exigencies of the wired world.

      The fledgling filmmaker and her husband, Gerard Parsons, both family physicians, felt their own family was losing its focus. All the Time in the World refers to what they were seeking. The parents, their three kids, two cats, and a dog found quite a lot of it in a cabin far upriver from their rustic Yukon home.

      It takes multiple boatloads of supplies just to get set up. The place is cozy, but food must be hidden from bears, latrine holes have to be dug and moved occasionally, and with winter freezing everything in place, wood must be gathered and chopped, and water scooped from holes in the ice must be boiled. In other words, everything we take for granted must be dealt with, rigorously, on a daily basis—and then there are the unexpected efforts, like figuring out how to remove porcupine quills from the face of your overcurious cat.

      Entertainment mostly takes the form of vegetarian food preparation and reading out loud. (What, no musical instruments?) This leads to a certain amount of cabin fever but also a lot of closeness and creativity (a Halloween sequence is particularly affecting), as described largely by the three children in unscripted voice-overs. Dad finds his inner Jeremiah Johnson in the snowbound woods and is usually in a good mood, explains daughter Kate, then 8, “unless he’s having a lot of philosophical thoughts”.

      Crocker shot the film herself, and pictures and sound were edited by Michael and David Parfit, respec­tively. Acoustic-guitar music by Alex Houghton and Anne Louise Genest is used sparingly, as is time-lapse photography. The images cast a spell, and so does the story. It doesn’t need more.