Against the Tide

A tale of love, brotherhood and resentments against the backdrop of an adoring sea, which is turning adverse under the menacing effects of an all-pervading calamity called climate change

Rakesh and Ganesh have the sea in their veins. The sea is their mother, their lineage. She gave them identity, food and sustenance, and on her lap their brotherhood fostered. Both are Kolis, the indigenous fisherfolk of Bombay.

Rakesh has inherited a boat and knowledge of fishing from his father. He is a traditional Koli fisherman, who fishes only in shallow water of the sea. His catch is small, so is his income. Ganesh is Rakesh’s bosom buddy. After completing his higher studies abroad, he returned to Bombay and got into deep-sea fishing. Not only he wanted to be a successful businessman, but also transform the entire Koli fishing community. Kolis must adopt technology-driven fishing– that’s his mission.
Ganesh is very keen that Rakesh too joins deep-sea fishing. “No chance, I am Koli, I shall only follow our traditional methods”, Rakesh asserts. No deep-sea for him, the shallow water is his fishing ground.
Over the past one year Rakesh’s catch has been only decreasing, and sustenance has become difficult. On top of that his son has developed a heart condition; he needs an immediate surgery. In between, all of Ganesh’s recent mega fishing trips met with losses. An undercurrent of anxiety and stress now prevails in his house. He has no choice but fitting his boats with all-pervasive LED-lights. It’s illegal, but he can’t help it, he must quickly make up his losses. Such a deceiving and cunning technology to catch fish, no Koli should use this– that’s what Rakesh told Ganesh. But Ganesh may stick to his decision. The contention between the two brothers will only begin to grow from now on. Came the days of Covid-19, and both their lives took a turn, something that was unanticipated, and in a way, enigmatic. But what’s going to happen once the lockdown is withdrawn? Will Ganesh finally be able to make-up his losses with the help of those LED lights? Will Rakesh take any drastic steps to stop Ganesh from using LED lights? Will then the brotherhood still sustain or perish finally?

Diligently following the undulated life trajectories of these two young men, we weave a story about perpetuity and fragility of brotherhood, love, and a beautiful natural world that is being crushed under the menacing effects of climate change.

Premieres & Awards

Special Jury Award: Verite Filmmaking

Sundance 2023

Official Selection

Sheffield DocFest 2023