Filmmaker Alejandro Berger has just released the analog equivalent of a hard-drive dump of footage from the 2000s in his new film “7 Destinos.” Back in the aughts, Berger traveled the globe with his lens fixed on surfing’s top echelon of the era. There’s footage of white-wetsuit phase Kelly Slater, lots of Andy Irons and a whole slew of others surfing the best waves in the world–they’re all lengthily listed in the film’s credits. The film has major “Litmus” vibes and is definitely not for the surf-cinema connoisseur who favors the hyperactive machine-gun blast of tail blows. The film is an hour long and tugs at the roots of surfing’s soul that is sometimes hard to find in today’s digital landscape.
Berger said the following about “7 Destinos” on his Instagram: “Twelve years ago I traveled non stop for almost two years doing what I still love to do, film surfing and cultures. Indonesia, Mexico, Tahiti, Hawaii, South Africa, Basque Country and Chile are the destinations in this movie I completely shot and edited. It has been sitting on a drive for too long. ‘7 Destinos’ is pure and raw surfing in an era with no Instagram.”
Aside from the surfing, the b-roll footage is beautiful too, even through the electromagnetic grain of early century video camera technology. Short clips of things like a dingy and abandoned doll on the side of a Baja road, an amateur bull-rider getting carried away from a rodeo on a stretcher, a family of wild elephants, a banana getting tossed to a monkey, etc., make “7 Destinos” seem like a surf-centered National Geographic collage–in the best way.
There’s a lot to take in during the film’s 60 minutes. Below are time stamps of just a few of the film’s many highlights:
Cory Lopez’s huge reverse, probably the loftiest ever done in a jersey up to that point in competitive surf history, 6:00.
Kelly Slater at J-Bay, along with some Andy Irons waves too, 19:00.
The whole Tahiti section starts at 32:00, but the Kelly Slater solo segment set to a blistering pop-punk song at 34:00 is like opening a time capsule.
Tom Curren surfs Waimea on a what looks like a balsa wood gun, 49:00.