Two newlyweds and their friend came from Paris to the American West in 1938 with kayaks, cameras, beer — and a bold and foolhardy plan to be the first people to kayak down the Green and Colorado rivers. Their stunning color footage — recorded a year before the groundbreaking The Wizard of Oz — went unseen for 75 years, until Portland filmmaker Ian McCluskey set out on an odyssey of his own. Learning about the “French Trio” from an old marker by the side of a trail, he retraces their kayaking trip with two friends of his own, and follows their fascinating story back to France on the eve of WWII, uncovering connections to the French Resistance, the early days of the French Riviera, and the possibilities that risk-taking offer us all.
Director’s Statement: Ian McCluskey
Do you know those stories where a kid finds a hidden treasure map in an attic, or a lost letter in an old book? I always dreamed I’d find a mysterious clue that set me on an adventure. One day, in a remote corner of Wyoming, I came across a historic marker that hinted at an incredible voyage. What started for me as a mission to research the past became a larger reflection about being open to the unknown. In the end, the film is an evocation of the spirit of adventure, which is available to all who seek it.