Providence in Paradise

Jimmy Lewis's picture
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Reviewing the latest from Confluence Films.

With a title like Providence, it's immediately clear that the most recent release from Confluence Films (set to premier on October 15) is about far more than inspiring you to fish. Yet, the achievement of the film is that it does just that, all while showcasing the logistics of shooting an exotic location on the far side of the world. In this case, that place is the Seychelles Islands off the east coast of Africa.

At its core, the film recounts the adventure of opening up the Seychelles to fly fishing and what it took to discover, explore, and outfit this remote location: volatile and impoverished Third World nations, fragile aquatic environments in a remote “saltwater wilderness,” and yes, even pirate attacks (complete with harrowing re-enactments). And not to be forgotten, the film's sine qua non: experiencing the challenge and excitement of catching GTs (giant Trevallys), bonefish, bumphead parrotfish (“bumpies”), and barracuda—all of mythic proportions—along with a cornucopia of various groupers and other saltwater species which only a fanatical fly fisher suited to a trip to the Seychelles will appreciate.

Confluence Films Providence Review
That ain't no trout.

There are some angling moments that transcend what’s made it to the fly fishing silver-screen so far. Camille Egdorf’s landing of her first GT is as athletic as anything you will see on American Ninja Warrior, and Tim Babich’s swim across shark-frequented channels while landing a massive barracuda is a kind of oceanic version of Paul Maclean bobbing down the Blackfoot. The character development by Bozeman-based Confluence has always been memorable, and in Providence, the filmmakers keep this convention alive by introducing Egdorf. The portrait of her life-altering choice to join the expedition in their return to the Seychelles and her response to the experience is honestly rendered and relatable to anyone who has made controversial choices to pursue fish into the unknown.

Confluence Films Providence ReviewThis prize was worth the sacrifice.

On a technical level, the cinematography of Providence is progressive. Thanks to the use of sophisticated drones, underwater cameras, and other cinematic wizardry, the point-of-view jumps from sky to sea floor to fish-level in a matter of moments. The HD quality lends an intimacy to the interviews, which allows one to connect with characters in the narrative. Though unintended, the structural transition in the film from macro to micro turns into a jazz-like artistic moment to which any angler living in the 21st century can relate. The lesson from this part of the movie? Don’t forget your iPhone. And, when it comes to the Seychelles, don’t forget to pack along a box of cigarettes—watch Providence and you’ll know why.


Providence premieres October 16 at the Ellen Theatre in Bozeman. For tickets, visit theellentheatre.com

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