Every year something truly beautiful takes place in Hawaii on Memorial Day. As the sun sets, thousands of paper lanterns are released to the sea in memory of loved ones that have passed. “Where the Ocean Meets the Sky” is a documentary that explores the annual ritual of lantern floating both as an instrument in helping people deal with death, and as a unique experience that draws a diverse crowd of people together in the name of peace.
Imagine a diverse crowd of 40,000 people uniting at sunset - everyone with the same intention of honoring the memory of a loved one that has passed. Imagine this peaceful gathering is in such a beautiful location it is often called Paradise. Every year a memorial ceremony called “Toro Nagashi” or “Lantern Floating” actually takes place on the shores of Hawaii - and when thousands of people simultaneously release lanterns into the sea, there is an emotion, a spiritual feeling in the air that is palpable.
Our challenge was how to capture these intense personal feelings of connection as well as the remarkable communal impact this ceremony had on the participants. Whether used as a tool to help in the grieving process, as a unique way to memorialize a loved one, or just to be part of a peaceful ceremony, thousands of people from around the world take part in the ceremony.
Shot in high definition, this short documentary explores the annual ritual of Lantern Floating and the amazing transformations of some of its guests. Interviews were conducted in a unique way so that the subjects are directly addressing the camera. This technique engages the viewer as participants describe their personal experience and the reasons why some were so compelled to attend this stunning ceremony.
A film by Barry Berona & Greg Daniels
Produced by Pia Clemente
Edited by Geoffrey O'Brien
Posted with permission of Liquid Media Productions