Florian Habicht first delved into the psyche of New Zealand’s Far North with Kaikohe Demolition. Now he has returned to this fertile ground to cover the Snapper Classic, the world’s largest snapper fishing competition. Held on Ninety Mile Beach, the competition’s $50 000 prize brings fishermen from around the world. Habicht follows a group of men and women as they battle it out, in a Northland storm, to haul in the biggest catch.
Habicht himself asks the questions, often curly ones like whether fish have feelings, something most New Zealand blokes who fish may never have considered before. Yet his disarming of these people makes them answer honestly and it is both intriguing and hilarious to see these people wresting with such philosophical ideas.
Fishing is generally a solitary pursuit, something that people do in order to have time out from real life, time to think and imagine. And the film grasps this well, truly getting across the almost religious nature of fishing as contemplation.