‘Te Mana o Te Moana’ means ‘The Spirit of the Ocean’ and was the name of a journey across the Pacific Ocean that a fleet of seven traditional-style voyaging canoes (Vaka Moana) undertook in 2011/2012. The film ‘Te Mana o Te Moana – The Pacific Voyagers’ that was originally broadcasted as a two-part TV series by Maori TV chronicles this epic voyage of a group of over 100 Pan-Pacific Islanders, who for the first time ever, were sailing across the vast continent of water they call home to carry a message of stewardship for the ocean.
Ranging in age and experience, these men and women are fishermen and artists, teachers and farmers. While some are life-long seamen, others are getting their first taste of the open ocean. But as diverse as their individual lives may be, they share one voice – one vision.
As we embark upon this odyssey with them — from New Zealand to Hawaii, California to Cocos Islands, the Galapagos to the Solomons — we uncover a story as ancient as it is modern, as sacred as it is scientific. Using traditional navigational skills and relying on the stars, wind, and wildlife as their guides, they map their way in the wake of their ancestors.
But this is by no means a story about living in the past. For our voyagers, it’s the future that’s at stake. Along with them and the world’s top ocean scientists, we plunge into the depths of the most critical environmental issues facing our blue planet — and find that each one has a human face.
We come to experience the Pacific in all its ferocity and its fragility through the intimate and unforgettable journey we share with these intrepid sailors. As their poignant stories unfold, it becomes clear just how intricately all of our lives are tied to the ocean.
The documentary take us coursing over the waves and deep into hidden realms of kelp forests and coral kingdoms, undersea mountains, and otherworldly atolls. As we dive into ecosystems patrolled by hammerheads and blessed by angelfish, we witness the spectacular diversity that we cannot risk losing.
Together, we revel in the company of Blue whales, and curse the raft of plastic beneath the swells. We brace ourselves through feral storms, and celebrate safe arrivals on remote and wild shores. As our Pacific crew mates open their lives and their culture to us with humor and grace, heartbreak and hope, we discover their journey becomes our journey; their dreams become our dreams – their story becomes woven into ours.
At the heart of the documentary is a narrative about connection — between people and nature, between the old ways and the new, between science and spirit. It is a human story, told by the people of the Pacific who are contending with the effects of a changing planet in very real ways. As we voyage with them across this mighty ocean we find they are not only reclaiming their heritage as the finest of sailors, but also the finest of stewards. Drawing on the lessons of their past to propel us all forward, these navigators are charting a bold new course – and steering us toward a sustainable future.
After the first screening of ‘Te Mana o Te Moana – The Pacific Voyagers’ to an audience of Pacific voyagers and friends and its broadcast by Maori TV the film was shown in other locations in New Zealand and on Pacific islands where people have deep ancient roots to ocean voyaging and traditional celestial navigation through their ancestors, carrying a message of hope and call to care for our ocean. The film is now being turned into a 3-hours TV series which also features content from the documentary film ‘Our Blue Canoe’. For more information please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.