Waterman Documentary World Premiere
Waterman Documentary World Premiere
November 5, 2021
7:00 pm
Bishop Musuem

See the new documentary about the life and legacy of Duke Kahanamoku! Surfing legend. Olympic superstar. Hawaiian Icon. American hero. Five-time Olympic medalist and Native Hawaiian Duke Paoa Kahanamoku shattered records and brought surfing to the world while overcoming a lifetime of personal challenges. WATERMAN explores his journey and legacy as a legendary swimmer, trailblazer, and the undisputed father of modern-day surfing, following the sport’s first-time inclusion in this year’s Summer Olympics – a fitting tribute to his work promoting the sport around the globe. Director Isaac Halisima expertly uses a 1957 episode of “This Is Your Life” as the documentary’s through line. In the episode, Duke is reunited with surprise guests who then reflect on major milestones in his storied life. These segments are then crystallized with a plethora of archive footage from newsreels, radio interviews, and photos from the turn of the century, coupled with interviews from Duke’s descendants, cultural experts, the surf world’s biggest stars. Capped with voice narration by Jason Momoa that delivers the gravitas, WATERMAN is just as thrilling as any hero’s journey story that Hollywood has unspooled. What is also refreshing is historical context. As Duke’s many historic feats are chronicled in the film, it is couched with the very real barriers and prejudices he faced as a non-white sports icon who was held back by the same colonial and capitalist power-brokers who changed the course of Hawai’i’s history. Duke could have been a Hawaiian Jim Thorpe and entered professional sports, but was forced to retain his amateur status to compete in five Olympics, which were spread out even more because of the First World War. For all the highs and lows of Duke’s life, it is his innate altruism and the embodiment of the Aloha spirit as a waterman that influenced future generations, from turning surfing into a major sports industry to the standardization of lifeguard safety and rescue practices, his contribution to the world is incomparable. WATERMAN celebrates his triumphs and philosophy of inclusion, challenging us all to embrace diversity and incorporate Aloha into our own lives. -Anderson Le FOR OʻAHU SCREENING: In partnership with the Hawaii International Film Festival, Bishop Museum is proud to present the HIFF41 Opening Night film and world premiere of WATERMAN, in conjunction with the unveiling of Bishop Museum’s “Hawaiian Olympians” display, and KAIMANA – An Immersive Mist-Media Film Installation created by Taiji Terasaki. “Hawaiian Olympians” is a new Bishop Museum installation located in the Gulab and Indru Watumull Atrium in historic Hawaiian Hall. This display juxtaposes Duke Paoa Kahanamoku and Carissa Moore, celebrating two individuals living 100 years apart yet sharing the same story – one of respect and aloha for Hawai‘i and the world. We hope that this display will inspire the next generation to strive for excellence, honor those that have come before us, and leave a legacy that will last long past us. Program: 4:30 p.m.: Gates open 5:30 p.m.: Pre-show Entertainment 4:30-6:30 p.m.: Hawaiian Hall and Hawaiian Olympians display open 7:00 p.m.: WATERMAN screening begins 1. EVENT RULES: All attendees, 12 years and older, must be fully vaccinated and submit their vaccination cards and IDs prior to event. People are considered fully vaccinated for COVID-19 when more than two weeks has passed since receiving the second dose in a two-dose series, or more than two weeks after they have received a single-dose vaccine. A completed government-issued vaccination card (which includes name of person vaccinated, type of vaccine provided, and date last dose administered) in original, photocopied, or digital form; or other similar vaccination documentation from a healthcare provider are acceptable proof of vaccination. Temperature checks will be taken upon arrival, anyone with a temperature of 100.4 or higher will be asked to leave Face masks must be worn at all times, both indoors and outdoors Patrons must physically distance 6ʻ at all times, with the exception of being in pod seating This is a rain or shine event No refunds under any conditions No re-entry No smoking or vaping No coolers, outside food, drinks (including any containers with water), or umbrellas allowed Empty water bottles are allowed and can be filled at one of the Museum’s water refill stations Any bags, purses, knapsacks, or backpacks are subject to search Any outside alcoholic beverage will be confiscated Blankets, towels, strollers for children and lawn chairs are allowed Patrons must stay within their seats or “pods” during the entire event Any patron not abiding by any of the above rules are subject to ejection &/or arrest


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