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Stunning cinematography, an honest voice and perfect music

Review by Jorge Cervera Hauser, Film-maker and Director of ‘Mexico Pelagico' on July 1st 2015

The review...

I first heard about David Diley when he contacted me a year ago, asking me about the conservation work we do at Pelagic Life, and about our film México Pelágico, still in production at the time.

A very pleasant conversation ended with me sending him a private screener of the film, and as the old action-reaction result, David wrote one of the very first reviews of MP, and the one I cherish the most.

Today, one year later, the tables are turned, and I had the privilege to be invited to watch a private online screener of David’s film, Of Shark and Man.

I’m not into blogging at all, but I can at least try to return the favor, and if I’m going to write on a semi-regular basis about stuff that interest me, I can’t think of anything better to start with.

Before today, I didn’t really knew what David’s film was about, other than it had to do with sharks. To my surprise, as I started watching it, it turned out that it was a story about… me. David’s story is in so many ways my own.

A kid fascinated by sharks from a very young age; not by the media-portrayed monster, but by the creature itself, and its role within the ecosystem. A kid that grew up in a big city to a job that paid the bills, until his curiosity and love for the ocean led him to take the plunge into a more adventurous, fulfilling life.

In the shape of a trip to Fiji, the film is a personal journey into a beautiful and majestic world beneath the surface, and a self-transformation process deep inside the filmmaker’s soul.

When you take that path of telling your own story, it’s very easy to get lost in the process and end up with a big ego-trip enjoyable only to the author. Fortunately, this is not the case. David comes out as very likeable, charismatic average Joe that had the guts to get out there and explore. The first-hand tale of his learning curve, that makes you want to be right there and then with him.

In the film, David is sort of adopted by Mike Neumann, a shark diving pioneer, and through his blog, a tough critic of every shark diving operator and shark conservationist worth mentioning. Regardless if we like Mike’s opinion of everything, his story is worth telling. We owe him in large part the demythification of sharks by bringing us closer to them, and proving to the world that sharks are worth more alive than dead; a mantra we live by at Pelagic Life every day.

Fiji is a world-class example of shark conservation, and David uses stunning cinematography, an honest voice, and the perfect music to describe not only his personal endeavor, but also that of the island, their people, and their relationship with sharks.

Like David says in his film, you can either create a story around a shark jumping out of the water with its jaws wide open, or you can tell the real story, the one that is already there. David went for the second one, and he did it right.

For news and updates regarding the film, follow Of Shark and Man on FB.