BAJO: Guardians of the Reef

The piece follows the journey of a man named Davine, who emerges as a conservational guardian in his area off the coast of Sulawesi, Indonesia. An intimate portrait, charting his struggle to save the reef, whilst confronted with the challenges of destructive fishing methods that threaten him and his people’s future survival.

Director’s Vision

In a time when we are so detached from the natural world, A group of people called the Bajau are still inspiringly close to the water. Sulawesi is at the epicentre of worldwide marine biodiversity. Bajau people have lived and hunted in these waters for centuries with communities made up of some of the most renowned natural free divers in the world. Dafrin identifies as Bajau, he is a priest and a free diver, and has stopped using bombs to catch fish, and retreated to the traditional bajau technique of free diving. The ocean is his community’s life source and he sees himself as a protector. For many indigenous people, dynamite fishing is the only way to compete with the live fish trade.