A Deeper Understanding: 10 Captivating Documentaries Exploring Our Relationship with the sea

April 7, 2023

"The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever." - Jacques Cousteau

Jacques Yves cousteau digital art

The ocean covers over 70% of our planet and has captivated humans for centuries. Whether it's the allure of its vastness, the mysteries that lie beneath its surface, or the ecological significance it holds, the ocean has always been a source of fascination. The 10 of the most captivating documentaries that examine the complex relationship between people and the ocean around the world.

From the Shores to the Depths: Exploring Our Connection with the Ocean.

Our relationship with the ocean is complex and multifaceted, and these documentaries provide a glimpse into the many ways that humans interact with the sea. From the wonders of marine life to the struggles of conservation efforts, these films highlight the beauty and fragility of our ocean world. Whether you're a nature lover, adventurer, or activist, there's something in these documentaries for everyone.

Top 10 Must-Watch Documentaries - Unveiling Our Vital Connection With The Ocean: 


Wawata Topu

A fisherman with a harpoon

In this documentary, director David Palazón explores the symbiotic relationship between the women of Adara and the ocean. Armed with a harpoon and a net, these women venture out to sea in search of fish to sell at the nearby market. Through stunning underwater footage and rustic imagery, Palazón captures the beauty and struggles of this small coastal town in Timor-Leste. The women of Adara share their cultural traditions and deepest aspirations, revealing a community that has learned to live in harmony with the ocean. This powerful film is a tribute to their resilience and strength.


My Octopus Teacher

The meeting of a diver and an octopus

Is a documentary film by Netflix that tells the story of filmmaker Craig Foster's unlikely friendship with a wild octopus he encountered while free-diving in a kelp forest in South Africa. Over the course of a year, Foster visits the octopus every day, observing and documenting her behavior as she navigates through the dangers of the underwater world. As he develops a deep emotional bond with the creature, Foster gains a newfound appreciation for the interconnectedness of all living things and the power of human-animal relationships. The film is a visually stunning and emotionally poignant exploration of the natural world and the complex web of life that sustains it.


The Buoy

A red buoy in the sea

Through stunning visual imagery and intimate interviews, "The Buoy" explores the deep connection between Aníbal and the sea, and the profound influence that poetry has had on his life. As Fernando documents Aníbal's ritualistic swims and poetic musings, he captures the essence of a man who has devoted his life to the beauty and power of the natural world.


The Endless Summer

Surfers standing in front of a beach break

This classic surf film follows two surfers as they travel the world in search of the perfect wave. Released in 1966, "The Endless Summer" quickly became a cultural phenomenon and helped to popularize the sport of surfing worldwide. The film's breathtaking cinematography and vibrant soundtrack capture the raw energy and excitement of the surfing lifestyle, while also celebrating the beauty and power of the ocean. Available on Amazon Prime and YouTube.


Fatei And Sea

 Marine life

The film paints a vivid portrait of Fatei and his deep connection to the sea. We witness as Fatei and his family harvest delicacies from the ocean, and explore the beauty and majesty of the underwater world. As Fatei shares his life story and his unique perspective on the sea, we are invited to contemplate the timeless relationship between humanity and the natural world.



 Aerial view of boats docked on a coast

Is a captivating documentary that takes you on a mesmerizing journey through the Peruvian coast, exploring the intersection between nature, spirituality, and human development. The film centers around the fascinating story of a Peruvian surfer, Joaquín del Castillo, who embarks on a journey to connect with the ocean and its spiritual significance. Along the way, Joaquín encounters a diverse range of people, including fishermen, scientists, activists, and indigenous communities, each sharing their unique perspectives on the natural beauty and challenges of the coast.


Mission blue

A woman looking at the deepest of the ocean inside a submarine

Is a powerful documentary film by Robert Nixon and Fisher Stevens that explores the life and legacy of oceanographer, marine biologist, and environmentalist Dr. Sylvia Earle. Through archival footage and interviews with Dr. Earle and other experts, the film highlights her pioneering work to raise awareness about the critical importance of protecting the world's oceans and marine life.


Alkemi: Quarantine at Sea

two women and a man looking at the camera

Filmmaker Angela Harger presents a harrowing tale of a small crew of sailors struggling to survive in the midst of a global pandemic. Trapped in the middle of the vast and unforgiving ocean, they face a perilous journey home as they battle supply shortages and navigate complex border restrictions. With breathtaking cinematography and a powerful soundtrack, this gripping documentary captures the raw human emotions and heroic determination of these sailors as they fight to overcome the odds and find safe harbor in a world turned upside down by COVID-19.


The Eyes of the Sea

A boat in the middle of the ocean in a dark night

Acclaimed filmmaker Jose Alvarez presents "The Eyes of the Sea", a powerful documentary that explores the themes of loss and redemption through the tragic shipwreck of a group of fishermen in the Gulf of Mexico. Through the eyes of Hortensia, a woman on a mission to carry a message of compassion to the last known location of the victims, this film offers a profound reflection on life and death. Drawing on Alvarez's expertise in crafting award-winning documentaries, "The Eyes of the Sea" is a must-see exploration of the human spirit in the face of adversity.



A girl walking in a sailboat

Follows the journey of 14-year-old Laura Dekker as she attempts to become the youngest person to sail solo around the world. The film offers a unique perspective on the relationship between sailors and the ocean, as Dekker grapples with the challenges of navigating the open seas while also confronting her own fears and doubts.


A diver and a coral

The ocean has always been a source of mystery, wonder, and fascination for humanity, inspiring many filmmakers around the world to document its vastness and complexity. Over the years, these films have provided us with breathtaking imagery, powerful storytelling, and important insights into the ocean's role in shaping our planet and sustaining life on Earth. However, they have also highlighted the profound impact that human activities have had on the ocean, from pollution and overfishing to climate change and habitat destruction. As we continue to explore and study the ocean, it is vital that we strive to better understand and protect this precious resource for future generations to enjoy and benefit from.


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