Documentary Review “Ocean Driven”

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First, the Recap:

The relentless pursuit of a dream involves a level of focused dedication, stout-hearted commitment, a sincere willingness to overcome obstacles, stand up to possible ridicule, and defy the odds when at all possible. Then the question remains through it all–do you want it that much and more? For Cape Town, South Africa-born Chris Bertish, it was a life knowing the ocean as a friend from his earliest days, thanks mainly to a loving and consummate waterman father, plus the support of two older brothers, Conn and Greg. Naturally finding a fascination with surfing, Chris took it upon himself from those childhood days to push to be the best, even showing skills on bigger waves that already began grabbing notice.

Finally able to journey to the United States, a family loss initially shakes Chris’ foundations, but ultimately inspires him to push even harder towards his goals, always believing like he was taught that anything is accomplishable. Learning his first bigger wave-riding lessons in Hawaii, Chris decides it’s time to set his sights on traveling to four of the world’s gnarliest big wave locales to prove to himself, and to the best surfers around, if he was as good as he believed he was. This key decision sets off the epic odyssey that will eventually take Bertish all around the world, unsponsored, to compete in tournaments, capture the attention of the industry’s biggest names, and end up in the 2010 Mavericks Big Wave Invitational, concluding the quintessential aspiration that almost costs him everything–including his life.

Next, my Mind:

The absolute beauty about well-done documentaries, especially when it comes to those focused on accomplished individuals, is their inherent ability to truly inspire the viewer to see themselves in a whole different light, coming away with newly discovered belief that dreams can come to pass. With co-directors Adrian Charles, Sean Dewil, Chris Bertish, and Nadia Tarlow’s newest project, produced in association with Fixer Film, this could not be more acutely accurate. Utilizing Bertish himself as the primary narrator and deftly mixing it with archival footage, the effort goes beyond this to provide genuine and heart-lifting drama, an unfolding narrative with practical, affirmative messages, moving music, and outstanding, imaginative visuals highlighting the vastly different oceanic vistas that are Bertish’s monster wave playgrounds.

To say Bertish is passionate about his story and the goals he’s accomplished would be an understatement to the highest degree. However, it’s really his entire attitude and message illustrated by that drive to succeed which shows such a depth of humbleness, that most might not believe it is possible for someone as talented and famous as he is to be so altruistic, noble, and magnanimous. Yet, this is the real Chris Bertish, and the themes about staying positive, working hard, overcoming adversity, achieving goals, and sharing in it with others could not be more timely or relevant in this day and age where strife and negativity seems to dominate the news and hence, so many people’s thinking. Here we have total acknowledgement that being courageous has rewards.

Overall, “Ocean Driven”, clocking in at a brisk 55 minutes, packs a serious soul-bearing punch more than worth investing the time to watch. Additionally, this reviewer would be hard-pressed to believe that everyone who does won’t be greatly touched and powerfully moved to seek out those once elusive dreams that are never, ever too late to pursue.

As always, this is all for your consideration and comment.  Until next time, thank you for reading!


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