If you’re like me, then you love documentaries on Netflix. When I stumbled across Fishpeople, my heart sang. A documentary about people who love the ocean as much as I do? Yes. Please. Produced by Patagonia, an ocean conscious company? Say no more.
Fishpeople follows six people who have a heart for the ocean: Dave Rastovich, a surfer from Australia; Kimi Werner, a spearfisher out of Hawaii; Ray Collins, a former coal miner turned photographer from Australia; Matahi Drollet, a surfer from Tahiti; Eddie Donnellan, a young man who teaches at-risk youth how to surf in the San Francisco Bay; and Lynne Cox, the world’s greatest open water swimmer.
If you didn’t want to spend your entire life in the water before watching this movie, you’ll want to afterward. All of the six participants in the documentary share how the ocean shaped their life and how it brings them great joy to this day.
For Kimi, spearfishing is something she took up because she watched her father do it everyday. Now she has surpassed her father and gone on to become a great talent in the sport. Ray took up surf photography after an accident during coal mining left him out of work. On a whim, he bought a camera and his entire life changed. Lynne has been found to be able to withstand cold water temperatures that were thought to be intolerable to humans. She is leading the way for extensive research on the human body’s adaptation to the water around it.
My favorite part of this documentary though was the honesty. Every single person in the documentary opened up about their love for the sea, but also their fear of it too. Anyone who is not afraid of the ocean is lying. The ocean is a powerful, moving, living thing, and if you do not respect her, she will take you down with her. Everyone has fears of the ocean, whether it’s a giant wave that could take you out, the vast emptiness of the open water, or a predator lurking in the background. Even these people whose entire lives revolved around the ocean still had some fear of the water in the back of their minds. For a person like me, who only visits the beach occasionally, this gave me hope that it’s okay to be afraid. What I can’t do is let the fear keep me out of the water. Having a good amount of fear and respect for the sea will help keep me vigilant and safe.
Overall, this documentary really struck a chord with me and I highly recommend it for anyone looking for an ocean based documentary on Netflix.