Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Shark Stewards of The Reef-Documentary Review

Sharks: Stewards of the Reef a shark documentary by Trillium Films and filmmaker David McGuire is perhaps one of the most in depth and visually appealing shark documentaries to hit the screens in the past three years. Filmmaker McGuire weaves a fascinating tale of reef sharks and reef ecology in pristine locals and gin clear waters.

These are the kind of encounters with sharks that change peoples perception of them. Beautiful reef sharks gliding over colorful reefs-with a simply melodic and haunting sound track to accompany the viewers voyage. McGuire's film introduces you to a host of local flavor and tropical locals in all it's greens and blues and sunset glories.

Then, in a wrenching transition, the viewers are taken on a darker voyage, that of sharks final destination into the holds of ships as nothing more than dried fins. In the world of complex eco systems analysis McGuire and his crew manage to distill the sharks place in this world down to the easiest and most understandable format using shark biologists and Peter Knights CEO of Wildaid as the primary story weavers.

The imagery he chooses to tell the tale of this unrelenting harvest is brutal and savage and serves as a wake up to the viewer. Overall the story resolves to one of a clarion call to action, reef sharks, like many other species of sharks are often the first species to be harvested as poor, local fishermen, are enticed by the lure of quick dollars and waiting factory ships off shore.

Accomplishing one solid message in any wildlife documentary is a herculean task, weaving a complete and understandable tapestry is just pure shark viewing magic!