Transport yourself to Southern Sri Lanka with our latest ebook! Download it now for free.
Production stills from Eddie Donnellan's scene in Fish People. A film by Keith Malloy made in 2016/17.

Watch: Fishpeople & Proximity

Far from the ocean yet, Munich is a place that has an incredible surfing scene. River surfing at the Eisbach is famous all over the world, but the Eisbach waves are busy, especially in summer. Thankfully, the wonderful open-air cinema Mond & Sterne (Moon & Stars) brought a new surfing highlight to Munich. The very recently released films Fishpeople (directed by Keith Malloy) and Proximity (directed by Taylor Steele, featuring John John Florence, Kelly Slater and others), were, a few days ago, projected on a large screen in front of a lake in the Westpark.

What promised to be an exciting evening, started with rain. “Since when would surfers be annoyed by water?” the event organiser asked. The 40 tough surfing fans didn’t mind. Huddled together in blankets, we waited patiently until the films started.

Fishpeople tells the story of six different people and their relation to the ocean. Interviews with the surfers, open-water swimmer, and spear fisherman give fascinating insights into their lives which they’ve dedicated to oceans of the world, as a way to help themselves or others in need. The film is presented as six short stories, one after the other, only connected by the different characters’ love of the water, which makes it an entertaining documentary. 

Proximity, on the other hand, focuses on surfing. More precisely, the idea was to pair some of the best surfers in the world and make them go on a surf trip together. This resulted in fantastic images of beautiful landscapes without too much talking, so the typical surf-documentary-aesthetic was perfectly fulfilled. The screen time of the four surfer groups were separated by different countries and seasons, which was shared almost equally. I could spend hours watching JJF and Slater playing chess or throwing tiny crabs into the sea.

Maybe it was the films, maybe it was me being tired that late at night after a long day, but I was glad when I got home and got into dry clothes and a warm bed. When I fell asleep, I dreamed, of course, not of the moon or the stars (which were sadly not visible that night) but, inspired by the documentaries, of ocean waves. After all, even if I can’t surf them in Munich, they are still there, waiting to be surfed.

More Stories
7 ways to make your morning a peaceful ritual.