The Broadcast / Hunros Jorna: Mickey Smith On The Process

Hunros Jorna: Mickey Smith On The Process

12 years ago Mickey Smith and Allan Wilson made a short film called ‘Dark Side Of The Lens’. A philosophical reflection on riding & documenting heavy waves in Ireland with a small crew of adventurous waveriders.

The film has become one of the most watched surf movies in history and is still considered to be a benchmark for surf documentation. At Finisterre we are honoured to have played a small part in bringing these two creative forces together once again to continue their story.

24.02.22

3 min read

Words by Mickey Smith

Image by Allan Wilson & Mickey Smith

‘Hunros Jorna’ traces the roots of a pack of strays from Kernow, who went on to heavily influence a radical collective approach to heavy water during a decade of discovery & progression on the west coast of Ireland.

We caught up with Mickey to find out a little more before the film's first screening...

Can you tell us a bit of the reasoning behind making this beautiful film?

It’s been a strange and layered journey for us getting to this point pard. You couldn’t really script any of the stories we’ve been lucky enough to live through and it all comes back to the sparks of alchemy that exist in Kernow and Ireland for me. We have a stunning ancient culture and a genuine wild spirit here in Kernow that is vivid, tangible and has given so much. I lived in Ireland for a long time where the traditions, language and culture are revered and celebrated. The Cornish language is ancient and truly beautiful, something to treasure that is unique and for everyone. Currently across the world we lose a language every 40 days and with that we lose culture and connection to locality. We wanted to pay tribute to the heartbeats, land and seascapes that have inspired and given our lives so much meaning. Try and do justice to their spirit by opening up the magic of Kernewek through our stories. A space that maybe kids like we were might connect to and think, 'well if these freaks can go and do things like this, maybe I can to.'

Personally I could never have embarked on this journey without Wilbot (Allan Wilson) and Gwenno (Saunders). Wilbot is an unbelievable stellar force of creativity in his gentle, humble way. One of the most truly gifted and hard working humans behind the lens to have ever swum the seven seas. Gwenno equally inspired and contributed so much to this film through her incredible musicality, heartfelt translation and delivery of these words. Growing up in Kernow when I did, with the characters that were around, they influenced so much in my life, made it ok to be a weirdo and explore dreams at sea. Equally so, the pack of strays in Ireland that inspired so much were like family. We entrusted our lives to each other in Irelands heavy seas time and time again. So this is as much a tribute and a window into their hearts as it is to these mystical places where land meets the sea. Also want to say a massive genuine thank you to our own incredible families for making the time and space for us to create fully, as well as Tom Kay and yourselves for the unconditional encouragement and support to see this through. You all helped bring what once felt like a very far fetched idea to life.

Composition of a surfer and the sea.
A wave breaking over shallow rocks, coloured purple.

What was unique about Ireland that made you stay there for over ten years? What do you think is the inspiration for people to stick around the coast looking for big waves?

Well we had all spent a long time searching the world's oceans for waves as good as the special corners that we began riding in Ireland way back then. It was a halcyon moment in time with a magic crew of wildlings, weirdos and freethinkers who were like family. When you have all of those unique elements together for a rare moment, it can’t last forever but I feel so glad, lucky and thankful to have lived through those otherworldly experiences.

What would you like people to leave the cinema feeling after watching your film?

Who knows what people will feel pard? We can only pour every part of our heart and spirit into creating something and then offer it up to the cosmos. If anything then hopefully perhaps some kind of resonance with the gifts of old mother sea, a feeling of acceptance and connection out there, and a deeper appreciation of the ancient Cornish language, spirit and culture.

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Watch the full film, Hurnos Jorna - Recollections in Atlantic Reverie, here.

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