On Friday, March 4, a small crowd gathered for a private screening of the documentary "Waterman," a biography film of Duke Kahanamoku. The screening was held at the Hawaii Journey Theater, at the Polynesian Cultural Center. Amongst this group came a handful of significant figures in the surfing community here on the North Shore. Many received special recognition from Isaiah Walker, Academic Vice President of BYU–Hawaii. He thanked them for the roles they continue to play as fellow watermen of Hawaii.
The crowd then heard from film producer Chet Thomas. He attributed his love for Polynesian peoples to the kindness and spirit of Aloha he always felt from those who embody it best. Then, documentary director, Isaac Halasima, took a few moments to share his motives behind the film. Explaining the personal responsibility he feels to share the message of Polynesia and the spirit of Aloha with the world. After hearing of Duke's story, he hopes that Polynesian people everywhere will feel a greater sense of belonging in the world's history.
The documentary "Waterman" depicts the life of five-time Olympic medalist and Native Hawaiian Duke Paoa Kahanamoku. Duke not only shattered world records for swimming, but he also 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 the latest summer Olympic games – a fitting tribute to his work promoting the sport around the globe.
"In Hawai'i, we greet friends, loved ones, and strangers with Aloha, which means with love. Aloha is the keyword to the universal spirit of real hospitality, which makes Hawai'i renowned as the world's center of understanding and fellowship. Try meeting or leaving people with Aloha. You'll be surprised by their reaction. I believe it, and it is my creed.
Aloha to you, Duke Paoa Kahanmoku"