All the great documentary makers - from Werner Herzog to Michael Moore - have the ability to take a niche subject and make it universal.
It’s a quicksilver skill that American filmmaker Eric Steel brings to ‘Kiss The Water’, telling the story of legendary salmon fly maker Megan Boyd.
Boyd spent her entire life tying the tiny works of art in a basic shack three miles outside Brora, in the North of Scotland.
The film mixes first person accounts with artful animation and stunning landscape shots, creating a whole that uses salmon fishing as a cypher for life itself.
Numerous lists of the components of flies (“designed for the fisherman, not the fish”, notes one angler) give proceedings a mystical air, as the alchemy of combining exotic feathers and furs is explained.
A picture of Boyd isn’t shown until the end, allowing the viewer to build up a personal image of the quirky heroine through tales of home-cut hair, reckless driving, Scottish country dancing and an unlikely relationship with Prince Charles.
It’s the section dealing with Boyd’s “Prince Charlie” which is the film’s only weak spot - the portrayal of Lady Diana as a salmon hooked on a line is a metaphor too far in an otherwise untouchable piece of cinematic magic.