Project Description

Below The Wind

1 x 55 minute documentary

Each year the Sea Nomads of Indonesia sail on fishing and trading expeditions across the vast and dangerous seas that bind together their island nation. Sometimes they venture as far as northern Australia (di bawah angin / below the wind) in search of trochus, trepang (a gourmet seaslug), shark fin and other marine species.

The modern world has now encroached upon the traditional way of life of these fisherfolk. Local fishing grounds no longer yield even a meagre living having been fished out by large commercial ventures. Forced to fish elsewhere they are ensnared in contemporary issues of territorial waters, fishing zones, quarantine, customs and environmental concerns. Now these indigenous mariners are pawns in the political disputes played out in International Law between Australia and Indonesia over the harvests of the seas.

In Below the Wind we sail with some of these seafarers as they migrate south to Rote, and then daringly enter Australian waters, relying on little else but their ancestral knowledge of winds and currents to survive.

Director and Writer  John Darling
Director of Photography  Ian Pugsley
Editor  Peter Pritchard
Producer  Andrew Ogilvie
An Electric Pictures Production 1993