Notes on... Given

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It's easy to throw around words like awe-inspiring and beautiful. So we won't. But just know that we wanted to use them to describe Jess Bianchi’s Given. The sensory-overload of a documentary (available on Netflix) follows the Goodwin family as they travel and surf around the world with their young children.

Seen and told from the perspective of the Goodwin’s six-year-old boy, Given, cinematic landscapes expand from Nepal to Iceland to Fiji and we experience the countries and see their people in a way we haven't before. From Given's point of view, the audience is invited to learn with childlike enthusiasm and wonder. And it’s seeing the landscapes and cultures through a child's eyes that evokes appreciation for the world and its inhabitants.

Given’s mom is Daize, a twice long-boarding world champion, and her husband Aamion is a pro-surfer. But your typical surfer film, this isn’t. Their love of surfing is intrinsically linked to their love of the ocean. The majesty of nature is the uncredited main character, but the story loosely follows Given in his pursuit of the elusive ‘big fish’, a tale told to Given by his father, that was passed down to him from generations before.