Nature’s only living gem, the pearl, has the power to make a drastic impact on the world in more ways than one: it feeds communities, empowers women, educates children, preserves dying cultures and repairs the oceans. Power of Pearl follows a handful of pearl farms in the Philippines, Indonesia, and Australia, telling the story of the unique relationship western pearl farmers have with their workers and surrounding communities.
Pearl farmers are a dexterous crew: acting as pilots, captains, scientists, deep sea explorers, leaders, and pioneers in service of their farming communities. The first to feel the effects of rising temperatures and Ph levels in the ocean, many of these farmers, now steadfast stewards of the seas, have come to the land from western cities, adapting immensely to become unrelenting advocates for their workers and environment.
The farms are self-sustaining communities where the workers and their families live, work, eat, sleep, grow, and care for one another. They organically farm on the land and rely on their relationship with the sea for their livelihood.
“We have to respect what nature wants. Pearls are the only living gem on this planet,” says Jacques Christophe, a filipino farmer. Not only do these pearl farms have severe weather and global warming to contend with, they have also taken on the role of policing the seas. Everyday the divers hear dynamite blasts and must chase off the illegal cyanide and dynamite fishermen and pirates. In order to survive, everyone on these remote islands has intimately bonded with the land, the oceans, each other and the surrounding communities. The pearl farms provide a sustainable means of survival for villages and cultures that would otherwise be lost to far reaching hands of climate change and globalization. When disaster strikes – sudden death of a diver or typhoon Hayian- and everything seems lost, it is this bond alone that willenable their physical and spiritual resilience.
For the last four years Ahbra Perry and Taylor Higgins have journeyed around the world to various pearlfarms. Some of the most remote and untouched regions on the planet, these immaculate habitats possess an indescribable beauty, of which must be seen to be believed. Relationships they have built while making this movie have allowed them access into some of the most guarded and protected corners of the earth to capture these landscapes for the first time on film. The filmmakers use acombination of underwater, aerial, slow-motion, and vérité footage to transport the viewer into a real-life 90-120 minute fantasy. Their intention is to craft a film that speaks to and excites audiences universally without loosing the delicacy of this intimate story of courage, passion and power of community