Across still water

13 minutes

As a young man’s sight fails him, friendship and night fishing help to keep his bearings

For years, John’s world has been getting darker. He’s 32 years old and is losing his sight to retinitis pigmentosa (RP), a rare genetic condition that has forced him to quit his job as a driver in London and increasingly limits his freedom of movement. Across Still Water, a short documentary by the UK director Ruth Grimberg, finds John at a crossroads: should he train to use a cane, or get a guide dog, and lose his Jack Russell terrier? As he struggles to accept his deteriorating condition, night fishing trips with a friend are the only thing that bring him a sense of peace. Constructed with care and patience, Grimberg’s film is a compassionate reflection on the quiet depth of friendship and the experience of preparing for a future without sight.

Via Short of the Week.

Director: Ruth Grimberg

Producer: Claire Levy

Get Aeon straight
to your inbox
Join our newsletter Sign up
Follow us on

‘Every morning I look forward to seeing what’s in your email and there isn’t a day that goes by without reading or watching something you guys have published.

It’s like an oasis of sanity in a world gone mad.’

Jack D, USA, Friend of Aeon

‘Aeon is one of the liveliest, most wide-ranging and imaginative sources of good content on the web.

A fabulous resource for the intelligent and curious.’

Professor Barry C. Smith, University of London

‘Aeon, for me, continues to be one of the best places to spend a quiet afternoon, in the company of some of the most brilliant minds around.’

Shivam C, India, Friend of Aeon

‘Thought-provoking, eclectic, open-minded and user friendly.

Aeon is like no other site on the internet.’

Larry D, UK, Friend of Aeon

‘Aeon’s combination of intelligence, integrity and flair is vanishingly rare – and I am very grateful for it. It is becoming an indispensable presence in the digital world for those who believe that ideas matter.’

Tom Chatfield, writer and commentator on digital culture

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.
But we can’t do it without you.

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview.
But we can’t do it without you.

Old Age & Death
Die like a dog

Pet dogs often have a peaceful death that forestalls protracted suffering and pain. Why can’t we do the same for humans?

Joseph Pierre

Haunted by history

War, famine and persecution inflict profound changes on bodies and brains. Could these changes persist over generations?

Pam Weintraub