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Among the Bajau people of Indonesia, Rohani is known as jago, or master. The 80-year-old diver from the Togean Islands of Sulawesi has spent a lifetime at sea, plunging into the darkest corners of the ocean—often as deep as 20 fathoms (120 feet) below the surface. Like generations of Bajau before him, Rohani hunts underwater with a hand-built harpoon gun, maintaining a way of life that has persevered among his people for thousands of years. His spectacular story, told in his own words, explores the incredible limits of the human body and the endurance of the human spirit.
In the narrative tradition of his ancestors, Rohani recounts his exhilarating tale, accompanied by breathtaking underwater cinematography and some of the most stunning footage of Bajau life ever captured on film. With the help of family and friends in the village where Rohani grew up, Jago: A Life Underwater recreates his memories from the island and its surrounding waters, delivering a rare and intimate glimpse into the culture of the Bajau.
Available exclusively on Smithsonian Earth, Jago: A Life Underwater was the recipient of the 2015 Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival Grand Teton Award, the Special Jury Award at the 2016 New York Wild Film Festival, as well as five nominations for the prestigious 2016 Panda Awards at the Wildscreen Festival in Bristol. Jago was produced, written, and directed by James Reed. Reed is an accomplished wildlife filmmaker who has worked on several acclaimed Disney nature films, such as Chimpanzee and Monkey Kingdom. Director and cameraman James Morgan is an award-winning photojournalist whose work has appeared in National Geographic, the BBC, and The Sunday Times.