“It recounts the voyage of L’Égaré II, but also the motivations of Henri,” Barnett says. “It’s about that kind of therapeutic effect this crazy adventure had on his life and mind. It was a kind of salve to treat the mental trauma he suffered as a result of his experiences during WWII.”
Barnett started on the film during his time at Concordia as an independent study project, working with Luca Caminati, associate professor in the university’s Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. During this time, he had focused his studies on ethnographic filmmaking and travelogues.
It was a simple decision when he heard about Beaudout’s voyage on CBC Radio’s C’est la Vie.
“I’d written a paper that touched on the story of Thor Heyerdahl and the Kon-Tiki,” Barnett says of a similar voyage across the Pacific, eight years before Beaudout’s Atlantic trek.
“So when I heard the words ‘Atlantic Kon-Tiki’ on the radio my ears perked up. I hadn’t heard that story at all, so of course I was interested.”