"The Fisherman's Son" takes readers and viewers through a beautiful journey of surfing, conservation, and a way of life.
It's a story common across the globe. Headlines don't hint, but instead declare the death of fishing villages from modernization, and leave little hope for self-supporting subsistence fishermen.
But the story of Ramón Navarro, as told in the documentary "The Fisherman's Son" and continued in the recently-released companion book, ends its similarities with the rest of the globe's stories there.
An accomplished pro surfer, Navarro used his position at the top of the big wave world to address the need to protect his hometown of Punta de Lobos, Chile.
Patagonia Books was kind enough to send a copy of the companion book, and upon first glance it's obvious the book is a visual-led, stunningly beautiful portrait of a man, a mission, and a way of life. The image-heavy, 144-page book is the sort you can pick up and set down periodically, with short contributions from known surfing industry personalities and an incredible collection of diverse photographs that shift from a picture-perfect barreled wave to a closeup of a Punta de Lobos inhabitant more seamlessly than makes sense.
"It's up to us to make sure there are traditional fishermen (and fish) in the future," says Navarro. "It's our responsibility to ensure our children and their children can see beautiful landscapes and biodiversity."
You can watch the film in full here.
The book and documentary were a combined project of Chris Malloy's, whose name you may recognize as one of the three Malloy brothers, all successful surfers in their own right. He's the creator of more than 20 surfing films, a Patagonia ambassador, and is no stranger to the ins and outs of a professional surfing career.
The parallels between Malloy and Navarro are likely what contributed to the book and film withholding a genuine feel throughout.
The biggest takeaway of note is that this isn't a surfing film, and it isn't a film about fishing, either. It's a story about protecting something that deserves protecting. As relatable as that is, this is a unique and enthralling story that everyone should know about.