Surfer Documentary – White Waves
White Waves – a shocking documentary. Waste, sewage, industrial products and chemicals – everything ends up in the sea. This often happens without the public hearing or reading about it. But there are some people who experience this kind of pollution recurrently. Surfers.
On the beach of Guéthary at the west coast of France some small plastic rings appear again and again. Every day there are more. Hundreds, thousands. François Verdet surfs the waves of this beach all year round. He is shocked. The surfer sees the small plastic parts for the first time in his life. Where do they come from? François keeps on and on until he finds out where those rings come from.
Traveling through Europe the White Waves film crew met several surfers like François Verdet. With the documentary, they revealed some as yet unknown pollutions of the ocean and rivers. Due to their love for the ocean and their close connection to it, the surfers look for the rise of the marine pollution. Discussions with stakeholders, politicians and industry are as much a part of their work as scientific research. If necessary, they go to court. The surfers want to ride white waves again.
For two years, the team travelled along Europe’s beaches to meet these people, listen to them and use their reports to raise awareness of pollution – millions of small plastic wheels, plastic waste and pathogenic bacteria in the sea. “A story can only be a good story if you see the places where it happened with your own eyes and listen to the people. As a director and journalist, Inka Reichert combines her passion for science, nature, travel and surfing. With her film White Waves the filmmaker of German origin, living in Spain, not only succeeds in showing unnoticed contamination and pollution of our seas, but also shows how the surfers’ love for nature can positively influence the progress of the story. The aim of the film team was to investigate the causes of marine pollution in more detail and to provide the public with adequate and accurate information.
As soon as the right waves come, the surfers grab their boards and ride the waves in summer and in winter. Water is their life. And they want to protect it. Their love for nature and the ocean gives them the strength to explore what really is behind all this.
Whoever buys or rents the film on Vimeo automatically supports an organization that fights against the pollution of the oceans, because 3% of the turnover with Vimeo goes to Surfrider Foundation Europe. The film is available with English, French, Spanish, German or Portuguese subtitles of your choice.
White Waves celebrated its world premiere in 2016 at the San Sebastián Surf Film Festival in Spain. The documentary won the Ocean Conservation Award at the Cinemare Filmfestival 2018 in Kiel. Without any lurid effect, the film shakes and touches. The eyewitness accounts of the ongoing violation and disregard for the nature environment are disturbing and disillusioning. The energy which is released by the surfers to save their habitats is inspiring. And finally every now an then it leads to partial successes in the fight for clean water.
The documentary encourages reflection, does not prescribe any fixed rules of conduct. The film team lets us draw our own conclusions and ask questions. It doesn’t always have to be the big activism. Everyone can make a contribution to saving the seas and protecting the waters from plastic pollution. One example: Many people don’t seem to be aware of what some people take for granted. Ear sticks or tampon sleeves do not belong in the toilet! How else can these parts get to the beaches of Europe through waste water from sewage treatment plants?
Title picture: (c) Simone Fust – Atlantic Ocean, Portugal25 Likes