Jago: A life underwater, BBC 4, iPlayer, produced and directed by James Reed.

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b08rp0ld/jago-a-life-underwater?suggid=b08rp0ld

If a documentary can be poetic, a meditation on life and death and the sea, then this is it. Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea springs to mind. Rohani was different from the other kids, swimming underwater and hunting fish. He could hold his breath longer and as an adult his eardrums burst as he got to depths of twenty fathoms on mouthfuls of air. I had to look up what depth a fathom was:  a unit of length equal to six feet (1.8 metres), chiefly used in reference to the depth of water. Other boys from the Togian islands in Indonesia couldn’t hold their breath as long. Nor were they as successful, or as well known, as Rohani in hunting for fish with a spear gun he fashioned. Rohani didn’t marry the prettiest girl, because when he was away fishing, they were away fishing too. But his wife, was his life and she gave him two daughters and a son. The sea was his father and mother and he explained that he saw spirits under the water and you had to respect them or they’d get angry. You had to be humble, or the sea would find you out. With a skiff he travelled near and far, working on, for example, Japanese trawlers. He saw first-hand the damage they did to marine life. It wasn’t Rohani taking from the sea the fish one at time, it was mass murder. His was not a world in which ocean acidification feedback loop as an increase in carbon dioxide blanches and helps to kill coral and the fish that feed in those ocean reserves. The spirits got angry and they took his son, killed in thirty fathoms tending nets. Rohani is a remarkable old man, who returns to the sea, in his skiff, catching fish to eat and cooks on his deck as he journeys on.  There’s great beauty here. Catch it while you can.

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