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Fly-fishing documentary dips deep, below the surface of friendship

‘Low and Clear' tells the story of reunited buddies fishing the rivers of British Columbia.
BY DENNIS KING Modified: December 31, 2012 at 3:45 pm •  Published: January 1, 2013

The two men's angling styles aptly reflect their lives — one contemplative, patient and philosophical; the other brash, jittery and impulsive.

Directors Tyler Hughen and Kahlil Hudson deftly capture the dynamic tension between the two men in their rough moments of levity, their warring philosophies of sport, their easy camaraderie and largely unspoken rivalry.

As Xenie catches loads of fish, Van Zandt's laid-back ethic is sorely tested. But by and large, J.T and Xenie are inextricably bound by their shared love of nature, of trout and of fly angling.

Amid the buddy bonding, Hughen and Hudson are not afraid to let their cameras paint the lovely stillness and majesty of the world where men and fish coexist.

Not surprisingly the breathtaking, painterly nature of their cinematography has won cheers. The 70-minute film premiered at the 2012 SXSW Film Festival, where it won the “Audience Award.”

Dennis King blogs at