HONOLULU (KHON2) — A film about five-time Olympic medalist and Native Hawaiian Duke Kahanamoku hits theatres in Hawaii on April 1.
Directed by Isaac Halasima and narrated by Jason Momoa, “Waterman” explores Duke’s journey and legacy as a swimmer, trailblazer and the undisputed father of modern-day swimming.
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The documentary features commentary from some of the biggest stars in surfing, including Olympic gold medalist Carissa Moore and 11-time world champion surfer Kelly Slater. The audience will also hear from members of Duke’s family as well as historians and experts in the field.
From humble beginnings, Duke swam his way to become the legend he remains today. As Hawaii evolved from an independent Kingdom to the 50th American state, the film explains how Duke became the face of a changing Hawaii and his impact on sports, lifesaving and fighting prejudice.
In 1912, Duke made it to his first Olympic games, competing in the 100m freestyle where he matched the world record in a qualifying heat. In the final, he was so far ahead that he was able to look back and survey the field at the halfway point — he still won despite this pause. Duke also earned a silver medal as a member of the U.S. freestyle team and later won a gold medal in the 4x200m freestyle relay.
Through his incredible athletic accomplishments and personal doctrine of aloha, “Waterman” explores a theme that still resonates today.
KHON2 tracked down the film’s director, Isaac Halasima, to find out more.
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“Waterman” had its world premiere on Nov. 5, 2021. There was only one screening on Oahu. Come April 1, everyone will get a chance to see it.