Authentic heroes are so rare we usually make them up. They need muscles and unshakable courage, a sense of honor, a mission, a desire to make the world better for the not-so-heroic, also a tragic death. Eddie Aikau, who in 1978 disappeared into the stern arms of the sea that had sustained him all his life, was all that and more. Because he was native through and through, we in the Islands—and our children—need to remember him and what he stood for. This superb documentary, narrated by Josh Brolin (W., Milk), goes on the required-viewing list for anyone interested in Hawai‘i.
A champion big-wave surfer, Eddie was 17 when he took 7th place at the annual "Duke" competition on O‘ahu's North Shore. Other competitors responded with statements like, "Hey, there are actually still Hawaiians, and they still surf!" That tells you how "haole" the waves had become. But the Hawaiian renaissance, of which Eddie is a dominating symbol, was coming just around the corner.
As the first official North Shore lifeguard, he saved over 500 lives and never failed once. Time and again he plunged into 40-foot waves at Waimea Bay to rescue swimmers—hence the popular slogan "Eddie would go." But with the historic voyaging canoe Hōkūleʻa, he tried to save his entire culture.
In dying, he succeeded.
A special thanks to TAUBLIEB Films and Paul Taublieb and Susan Cooper for all their help, without which tonight's screening would not be possible. Paul and Susan would also like to thank the Aikau Family for their support and faith in them, which made possible Hawaiian: The Legend of Eddie Aikau.
Taublieb Films is also, with the support of the Aikau 'ohana and having secured the rights to Eddie Would Go, currently developing a dramatic narrative feature length film on, the life of Eddie AIkau.
Taublieb Films also has two documentaries that are in the works: Hell Fire: The True Story of Moto-X and an as yet unnamed documentary of the life of Duke Kahanomoku, In addition Taublieb Films will be producing the X-Games in Munich and Los Angeles.