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Duke Kahanamoku documentary to screen in Consolidated Theatres across Hawaiʻi

duke kahanamoku
FILE - In this Aug. 11, 1933, file photo, Duke Kahanamoku poses in a swimming pool in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/File)

While the Oscars were presented Sunday, there’s another movie of note coming to Hawaiʻi theatres that tells a story of great local interest.

The documentary film “Waterman," directed by Isaac Halasima, explores Duke Kahanamoku's legacy as a swimmer and as a father of modern-day surfing.

Local waterman Billy Pratt was one of the producers on the film. He told HPR that his role in the production was a bit unusual.

“Let’s say an alakaʻi — or a protector for Hawaiʻi — to make sure that we’re passing on the information about Duke that should be known, also considering what the family thought. I wanted to make sure that we spoke to the Kahanamoku descendants and we captured their thoughts and feelings about their great Uncle Duke," Pratt said.

"Those were the things that sort of ran through my mind — to meet such an amazing group of people and the creativity and the hard work that they put in, but also I think the care that they show for Hawaiʻi — and wanting to make sure that they did the right thing and they understood the ideology and the concept of Aloha," Pratt told The Conversation.

The documentary debuted last year at the Hawaiʻi Film Festival and can be seen at Consolidated Theatres around the state starting Friday, April 1. It's narrated by Jason Momoa.

It will then be shown in Utah and California before heading across the Pacific to Australia and New Zealand.

Take a look at the trailer:

This interview aired on The Conversation on March 28, 2022. The Conversation airs weekdays at 11 a.m. on HPR-1.

Catherine Cruz is the host of The Conversation. Originally from Guam, she spent more than 30 years at KITV, covering beats from government to education. Contact her at
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