Water of the deepest blue stretching to the horizon, bows gliding through the waves, decks drenched in ocean spray: 120 men and women are on a months-long ocean voyage, crossing the Pacific in seven traditional Polynesian canoes. Most are Polynesian farmers, construction workers or fishermen – anything but professional sailors. Some have never even been at sea before. But something has persuaded them to take part in this voyage, leave behind parents and children, break off their studies, leave their jobs. What made them do it?
At first their aim is to retrace the steps of their ancestors, who first started populating the Pacific 5,000 years ago. By exploring their history, so deeply rooted in this place and these islands, that lives on today in traditions and rituals, the voyagers rediscover their own deep connection with the ocean. The sea is not what separates the thousands of Pacific islands – it is a highway that joins them together. The film links fragments of Polynesian myths with ritual acts to paint a portrait of Polynesian culture.
As time goes on, the voyage also becomes a unifying one, re-establishing connections between the islands that have been lost for centuries. By the end of the voyage, during which it becomes clear to the 120 seafarers that their ocean’s – and their own – future is in grave danger, they have become inseparable, a single Pacific family speaking with one voice.
The epic voyage of “Te Mana o Te Moana” would not have been possible without the generous time and support of more than 170 voyagers from 17 Pacific nations who took part in this voyage over two years and 22,000 nautical miles. The film ‘Our Blue Canoe’ is a tribute to these brave and courageous voyagers and has been cut from about 1,000 hours of footage that has been filmed during the voyage.
The film has been finished in December 2015 and is now being re-edited and turned into a 3-hours TV series. For more information about ‘Our Blue Canoe’ please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.