Copyright © 2006 riceNpeas
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Chris Herd's documentary A Shore Thing is an insightful journey of fishing and exploration with the aboriginal Walbunja tribe.
Unlike so many other reporters, Herd's narration and on-screen presence is not intrusive; on the contrary, he comes across with a refreshing feeling of sensitivity and appreciation towards his subjects. His funny commentary is welcome and he knows when to take a step back and allow the beautiful nature and landscape to do the talking.
Whilst commercial fishing and tourism may have reduced these unique coastal cultures to just a few, there is a proud feeling of defiance which stems from the Walbunja tribe. Lionel, a Walbunja elder and central character to the documentary, is often captured in a pensive mood, seeming to blend into the nature which surrounds him. He has earned the respect of his family, carrying the knowledge of his ancestors with him. It's not long before that respect rubs off onto Chris, who admirably comments: "Lionel is a Legend." With a devotion to cooking healthy, mouth-watering food, he creates recipes which leave one with the urge to replace our ready-made meals with a touch of nature.
Yet, with all that said, it's not the nature, climate or food which makes this documentary so compelling, but rather, the people, their hospitality, and their passion for life.