I HAD RECEIVED AN INVITATION to attend a documentary event in Taiwan. I mulled It over but when they added, “Peter Wintonick is coming too,” I accepted the invitation with just that much more gusto. I was looking forward to one of our legendary walks.
When Peter and I had walked through Helsinki, talking of a master class he was about to moderate with Ricky Leacock, he made the assigned festival volunteer and me laugh all the way through the icy streets, commenting and riffing and rhyming on anything that crossed his vision. It was all linked, according to Peter, and it was all funny. You just had to look at it through that funny-lens of his.
We walked through icier streets in Park City as he encouraged me to check out the works of some of his favourite radical filmmakers, naming films I had never heard of and describing the ideas and ideals within them as if he had seen them minutes ago.
We walked through the far less icy climes of Thessaloniki and Sheffield as well, and he reminded me of Plato. Hell, he would have fit right in, back in Ancient Greece. He was the wise man who always thought on his feet because it made the imagination sharper.
When I arrived in Taiwan, Peter was not at the dinner table. He’d cancelled his trip and soon after we learned of his ill health. I cherish those hilarious, fun walks we took, where he offered information, knowledge and stories freely, and listened honestly. He offered his thoughts freely, without ego. Always without ego.