Sarvnik Kaur’s breathtaking documentary about Indigenous fishermen in Mumbai brings to life an ecosystem wrecked by corporate greed and climate change.

Sarvnik Kaur’s patient, plangent documentary follows two fishers and friends from Mumbai’s Koli community pursuing their livelihoods by different means. Ganesh is a likable grafter who commands a large crew and the latest technology for expeditions far out at sea….

“[An} excellent, insightful Indian documentary about life itself. Sarvnik Kaur’s powerful second feature blurs fiction and reality in a tale of friends torn by concerns of community and industry… Piercing in its personal drama… Last year’s Sundance Film Festival played host to the premiere of a similar Indian film, ‘All That Breathes’… ‘Against The Tide’ plays like its aquatic cousin, with staging that feels equally intentional, and a conservationist spirit that’s just as ethereal… Kaur creates a vital portrait of the intersection between the spiritual and industrial in the world’s most religious nation, grounded in the poignant interpersonal drama between friends, families and communities.”
– Siddhant Adlakha, IndieWire


Rotten Tomatoes collection of reviews plus 94% rating Sarvnik Kaur’s outing is a distinct work: deeply humanistic in approach and admirable in its clarity. Her thematic interest becomes all the more compelling in her refusal to take sides…

One of the Sundance 2023
“Movies Worth Standing In Line For”
“Beautifully composed and movingly intimate.”
– Justin Chang,
Los Angeles Times

“Absorbing and beautifully shot… Immersive and compassionate… Does a powerful job in detailing a disturbing and changing world, but what really gives Against the Tide its emotional impact is the warm relationship between the two men.”
– Mark Adams, Business Doc Europe

“A solid verite doc… Kaur follows the men’s family lives as much as their livelihoods, with editors Atanas Georgiev and Blagoja Nedelkovski repeatedly and elegantly staging discussion by cutting from close-ups of whoever’s in conversation to a large master shot from far away, resetting the speakers against cityscapes and the seaside, a welcome way of inserting regular doses of beauty.”
– Vadim Rizov, Filmmaker Magazine

One of the “Standouts” of Sundance 2023
–Bilge Ebiri, New York Magazine-Vulture


“I was blown away… A marvelous film in many ways… The music is amazing… Leviathan-esque feats of camera mastery… Flawless editing… A film that is not afraid to stay in uncomfortable moments.”
– Abby Sun, The Film Comment Podcast

“[An] extremely detailed and rich portrait of (a) subculture… Stunning ocean sequences… A Sundance doc recommendation.”
–Devika Girish, The Film Comment Podcast

One of the “Best of Sundance 2023” “Compelling in its creeping sadness… Captures the sheer force of the sea in contrast to the quiet ebb and flow of despair of those who rely on it for their livelihood… A stunning series of underwater shots.”
– Gayle Sequeira, Film Companion


“Engaging and poetic… [Stresses] our interconnectedness with the environment… The watchful camera [catches] the ebb and flow of life for both men… There is hopefulness in friendship and tradition.” (4 stars)
– Amber Wilkinson, Eye For Film

“Engrossing and bewitching… Very affecting… A revelation. It not only tells an important story but is amazing to look at. The cinematography is wonderful… The characters and their relationships are explored in all their complexities and subtleties.”
– Hanna B, Film Threat

“A deeply personal document of friendship… Sarvnik Kaur is patient in her study of the community… A fertile ground for discourse.”
– Ashwani Kumar Tiwari, High on Films


“Against the Tide is perfect… Powerful imagery… As the credits roll, you know you’ve just witnessed something special and enduring… A requisite for any documentary lovers or climate change activists.”
– Bethany Lola, Loud and Clear Reviews

One of “Sundance Film Festival 2023: Opening highlights”
– David Morgan, CBS News

“This compelling documentary sheds light on lives that might otherwise go unseen.”
– Gary M. Kramer, Moviejawn


“Sets a high watermark… Captivating… Manages to feel both intimate and large-scale when the fishermen’s struggle reflects the soul-searching of an entire nation in a brave new world and minus the flotsam they deal with in a daily basis, it is well worth catching.”
– Stephen Saito, The Moveable Fest

“What a visceral ride… An abundance of tension and emotional conflict… Shot beautifully through the lens of Ashok Meena – stunning imagery on display… Fascinating… Haunting images… Fantastic flowing visuals.”
– James Snyder, Film Snob Reviews

“[A] fragile, expansive film.”
– Santanu Das, Hindustan Times


One of “The Best From the 2023 Sundance Film Festival” “A distinct work: deeply humanistic in approach and admirable in its clarity… Kaur’s thematic interest becomes all the more compelling in her refusal to take sides… A deeply nuanced outing which reckons with the demands of the present while acknowledging the cause of it… A clear-eyed, unbiased depiction of the lives of two fishermen… A moving portrait of friendship… Brims with hope… An unflinching snapshot of the times we are living in.”
– Ishita Sengupta, OTTplay

“Kaur’s camera catches the struggles of the two men in vivid detail and captures strikingly intimate footage in the process… Kaur shoots the film beautifully while capturing an emotional story of oppressive forces beyond our control… One of the best documentaries at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival.”
– Alan French, Sunshine State Cineplex

“Director Sarvnik Kaur’s gripping portrait of two Indigenous fishermen in India is an inspired humanist take on the David versus Goliath story… Kaur’s command of the verité style of filmmaking is quite simply stunning, mainly in the way that she mingles her subjects’ everyday realities with key cultural rituals in the community. This gives us a vivid insight into their lives and into their unique perspectives… Inspired stylistic choices… Poetically poignant while maintaining a clean, direct approach… A searing climate change warning for us all.”
– Barbara Goslawski, That Shelf 

“A spiritual exploration of our connection with nature…Ashok Meena’s excellent photography lends a poetic touch to intimate conversations, and provides spectacle in the fishing scenes… A brilliant and spiritual documentary that portrays our connection with nature through the lives of a community struggling to keep alive its traditions… A memorable environmentalist warning.”
– Ricardo Gallegos, But Why Tho

“Deftly focuses on the nuances rather than follow an obviously polemical method… Kaur crafts a highly immersive film, capturing with unflinching detail the dynamics of the friendship… Gentle and deeply humane… The visuals by Ashok Meena provide deep, poetic, and sensitive insight… ”
– Dipankar Sarkar, Upperstall

“The fishing footage is breathtaking… Men maneuvering these huge nets and the monumental effort it requires to haul them into and out of the water is a sight to behold… An ethical quandary played out as an intimate, interpersonal drama… A worthy film, fast-paced and teeming with ideas.”
– Daniel Gorman, In Review Online

“At once poetic, observational and expository, with cinematographic daredevilry.”
– Tanushree Ghosh, Moneycontrol

“The storytelling and cinematography in this film are so exceptional that viewers will feel as if they have been transported to this village and are among its villagers. The result is a really captivating, compelling look at this remote part of the world.”
– Sean Boelman, Disappointment Media