In the fourth installment of the paddle sports film series Of Souls & Water director Skip Armstrong makes a dramatic departure from the world of kayaking in a tale of loss and redemption called The Warrior. Pro surfer Chris Peterson is fighting his way back. In this 8-minute 53-second short the healing power of water is revealed to restore the strength and courage of a man struggling against the tragic death of a loved one as well as the missed opportunities of his youth.
With a narrative bent on storytelling The Warrior is a raw depiction of the images and scars that constitute Peterson’s life in surfing. The film offers a brief yet intimate view into the emotional strain inevitable through most careers of professional athletes. The constant battle to stay at the top of his game weighs heavy on Peterson until finally he abandons the quest for glory in favor of family obligations and a so-called normal life. But the surfer ultimately finds solace riding the whitewater waves of a nearby river where he discovers peace navigating its turbulent currents with the same grace and skill he learned in the ocean.
Like his warrior director Armstrong takes the action sports genre into uncommon territory. Relying less on dramatic scenes that quicken the pulse he first draws viewers into the story so that they might empathize with the character and feel a bit of his pain. The journey concludes with the understanding that even when dreams are left behind they never truly go away.