“Surfer film producers doing more for the cause of peace in the Middle East than decades of political wrangling and cross-border missiles”
KUSI San Diego news anchor Tom Jordan
In the most unsuspecting place, two friends, each from the other side of the world, find a common ground, a shared passion—surf. Hani, an Israeli born surfer and board shaper, met Todd Morehead, an American born surfer, in the waters off the Israeli coast. Hani, after seeing Todd surf, introduced himself and a friendship was born.
Though separated by thousands of miles and each having a different faith, the two men have a deep friendship that exceeds all boundaries. Promised Land documents this unique friendship, using surf as the shared passion. Knowing Al Merrick–foremost board shaper for surf greats such as Kelly Slater and Tom Curren–is one of Hani’s hero’s, Todd flies Hani to California and the friendship deepens.
Todd then invites three time world champion surfer Tom Curren to Israel to meet Hani and surf the Israeli waves. Promised Land shows that friendship can rise above religion and war. “God calls us to love the Jewish people”, Todd says. He then goes on to say, “Hani knows the value of people. He puts relationships first.”
In this world, where headlines scream about wars in the Middle East, bombings in Israel, and unease throughout that land, Promised Land shows that peace can exist in one arena. Surfing in Israel can bring Jews, Arabs, and Christians together. Dorian “Doc” Paskowitz surf legend who brought the sport to Israel says that there “is no religion in the water. It’s not a mix of waves and war. It is waves and war.”
Peace is a main theme of Promised Land. The film delves into the different opinions of the individuals of the movie–opinions that are a characteristic sampling of those living in Israel today. Will there every be peace in the Middle East? Why do some believe in a messiah who will put things right? These are some of the questions the movie attempts to answer.
Promised Land not only shows the beauty of the Israeli waves, her people, and the tension that exists between beliefs, it elevates the human spirit. Featuring surf champions Maya Dauber, Oran Weiss and Tom Curren, the viewer is drawn over country and religious lines into a love for one of the most powerful forces on earth-water, which yields the beautiful and healing sport of surf.