In 1971 the surf documentary film Morning of the Earth put Bali — and specifically Uluwatu — on the world surfing map. The Australian film showed the carefree nature-friendly lifestyle of surfers, using gentle folk music and footage of oceanic natural beauty to pack a powerful environmental message. The new documentary film Spirit of Akasha, produced by the same man who made Morning of the Earth, attempts to follow in the first film’s footsteps.
Directed by Andrew Kidman, Spirit of Akasha features an ethereal soundtrack of contemporary music and dreamy footage of surfing in the way it was meant to be — graceful and at one with the waves. Spirit of Akasha also delivers the important environmental message.
From a review of Spirit of Akasha in the Australian:
Akasha is full of such moments, albeit too often in slow motion. The best sequence is of five-times world champion Steph Gilmore riding a single fin at Snapper Rocks, Queensland. The speed she generates and the smile she wears while doing it are pure joy. Most scenes are punctuated with shots taken discreetly by Kidman, capturing seemingly innocuous moments between waves that make you smile. Kidman has a particular talent for this.
Famous surfers featured in the film include Kelly Slater and Mick Fanning, while the soundtrack is helped out by big Australian names such as Atoms for Peace, Matt Corby and Xavier Rudd. The film also returns to Bali over 40 years after Morning of the Earth exposed the soon-to-be surfing Mecca to global audiences, highlighting issues of development and how the island has changed.
According to director Kidman, the message of Spirit of Akasha is embodied by one man.
From ABC News:
The central character in this film is a Korean-born guy, Sam. He was this guy who kept turning up in unusual places. I’d be out in big surf and there he was. I thought who is he? An Asian guy who exemplifies all the elements of Morning of the Earth, the desire to live a sustainable life and put aside so many things, so that he can surf.
For more information and to watch the trailer for Spirit of Akasha visit the film’s homepage.
In the “spirit” of Spirit of Akasha and Morning of the Earth, please sign this online petition to ban plastic bags on Bali.