This DVD is amazing! Surprising! Different!
It's a sweet piece to watch, albeit way too short in my eyes. When it's done after 30 minutes you feel about warmed up and about ready to hear the two anglers, Danish Jan Bach Kristensen and German Daniel Göz, introduce us to what we've just seen in the previous sequences.
Fishing so stunning and surprising that you hardly believe it when you see it. You feel like Daniel Göz in the intro to the film, where he walks in an industrial area of what I presume is some large German city, launches his belly boat in a canal, lifts himself up and dumps into the murky water.
The camera follows him, and when he reemerges he has been teleported to an equally murky canal, but obviously no longer in a large city.
You see him and his partner casting and hooking up and loosing something... something big! And finally it dawns on you that these guys are not fishing for roach, bream or carp in some European freshwater canal. Not even the catfish that they keep mentioning can fool you any longer.
These guys are fishing for tarpon. Huge tarpon!
From belly boats!
The video is most likely shot somewhere in central America in a place that is no further described or named.
"There are still places to be found" as Jan Kristensen says in the intro. So true!
Once we realize what they are doing, we are deep into the action of rolling tarpon, stripping, setting hooks and fighting tarpon.
From belly boats!
Those of us who have fished for tarpon know that controlling these monsters from the deck of a larger boat is not easy, and the thought of sitting in the surface with a 100 or 200 lbs. fish, jumping frantically while attached to your rod is intimidating - not to say scary.
But Jan and Daniel do it, and we see it. Filmed close up, lots of action and tugging, and finally landing and releasing these huge fish.
From belly boats!
We also see camp life, tying flies in very primitive camps with tarpon rolling in the background. The guys also touch upon the ecology and preservation of the fish and the tagging program that they participate in.
And it's all beautifully filmed and edited. I will not comment on the time lapse sequences, but just put up with them since the rest of the film is extremely well made. The quality of the video is amazing, shot with a digital SLR-camera supplemented by some POV GoPro footage.
The compositions, the angles, the ambiance is just fantastic. A scene where Jan Kristensen fishes and hooks up in drizzling rain, is just mesmerizingly beautiful, and all scenes with fish fights are all heart pounding exiting!
Jan Kristensen also mentioned to me that a BluRay-version of the film should become available, and the footage certainly deserves to be shown in the best possible quality.
But as I said, once you are really warmed up for some gear and fly talk, some talk about why you get the crazy idea to fish for tarpon from a belly boat, some talk about how to go about such an endeavor and getting some questions answered, it's over. What about other species? Sitting in the water with crocodiles and sharks around? Or is there?
Well, we may never get the answer. In the finial sequence, where the talk starts, it also ends. Daniel and Jan would rather be fishing, and who can blame them?
No matter my complaints, this is a fantastic video, and I have no quarrels giving it a Global Class score in spite of my grudges. But think about how good it could have been with a bit more material and some more insight into this amazing fishing.
I don't need to hear where this takes place, I'd just love more of it!