, , , ,



This Dan Stone and Patrick Gambuti documentary follows the Sea Shepherd project as it seeks to stop Japanese whalers in the seas near Antarctica. My expectations for this film were limited. The politics are pretty straightforward–who really defends something as utterly indefensible and loathsome as whaling? I figured we’d watch a bunch of hippies on some boats fight some big bad whalers with a lot of cool scenery and an in your face political message. And for the most part that’s what we got. Except for about 20 minutes where the directors chronicle a lost speed craft that had launched from one of Sea Shepherd ships to harass the whalers. At that latitude (about 65 degrees south) the chances of survival start dropping pretty quickly, even if you have good gear. As everyone searches the vast endless ocean for the boat, what everyone is thinking, at home and probably on the boat, is what price does one pay for strong political convictions? That’s a compelling question that never has a clear answer and makes for interesting filmmakers. Credit Stone and Gambuti for making that the focus of the film. As for the rest, it’s a fine documentary, not particularly challenging or artistic but interesting enough if you are already inclined to follow environmental issues. There isn’t much explanation about the issues at hand so it does help to have some background.