Film: Surfing dolphins

In his 20 minute film, Surfing Dolphins, filmmaker Greg Huglin crosses the liquid line that separates us from them.  It’s a stunning labor of love—fourteen years in the making—with visuals that will elicit gasps of wonder and awe.  If ever there was a case for them and us occupying separate but parallel worlds, this film is it.  Proof positive dolphins love to catch waves, and can surf over-under-in-and-around those waves in a manner we can only dream of.  That’s how the film makes us feel at times, as if we’re watching images from an underwater dream.

From the film’s beginning, when dolphins rise to the surface to play and surf at a remote bay in South Africa, we’re clearly witnessing one of the seven wonders of the natural world. In wave after wave, Greg captures their freewheeling expression sessions performed in perfect synchronicity.  The energy is palpable.  Dolphins know how to have fun!

Greg’s tightly-framed ultra slow motion footage zeros in on our aquatic brethren surfing inside and performing graceful aerial arcs out the backs of waves. You don’t have to be a surfer to appreciate this film, but only a surfer could have made it this way.  There’s a sense of kinship with our one species-removed cetacean cousins.  We’re connected by a shared understanding of the nuances of timing and positioning in riding the energy.

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