Blue ↠ The must see doco of 2017

For the past few weeks Melbourne International Film Festival has been taking place, and as part of one of my university classes I was required to attend a film session and review it.

Choosing a film was an entire assignment in itself given that there were hundreds of films on offer.

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After narrowing my choices down to three options, I decided upon a documentary called Blue.

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Image from bluethefilm.org

Can I just say first and foremost that this documentary needs to be seen by every person on the planet, needs to be shown in schools for educational purposes and just all round needs to be talked about more and more every day so people are more aware of their actions. 

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Image from bluethefilm.org

What drew me to this particular film was the fact that I had recently visited the Great Barrier Reef earlier this year {you can read all about that trip here} and, although it was an amazing experience, it was nothing like I thought it would be and that comes down to the impact of bleaching and other destructions to the area. I had also ticked off a major bucket list item of swimming with turtles recently during my time in Bali.

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Although the photographic evidence of the experience looks unreal, what it doesn’t show is the conditions of what I was swimming in.

The water was littered with trash, mainly plastics, and as soon as I got the shot of the turtle I wanted nothing more than to get out of that disgusting water.

But this isn’t just a problem localised to Bali. As an example, Hawaii’s Kamilo beach is best known for its accumulation of plastic marine debris from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch; the bottom of the ocean floor off the coast of France is littered with rubbish and dead marine life.

 

Whale watching, swimming with dolphins, or snorkelling the Great Barrier Reef, are, undoubtedly, on countless bucket lists worldwide. Blue takes us on a journey beneath the waves to understand why such activities will soon be a thing of the past if we, the human race, continue the way we are going.

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Image from bluethefilm.org

Karina Holden draws the audience of Blue in with a striking opening; a breath taking view of the ocean from above as a lone freediver, Lucas Handley, elegantly swims among a school of fish. Although there are thousands of fish in the school, they gracefully move with each other and from above they resemble one big object, it’s mesmerizing to watch.

The carefree vibe of the opening quickly dissipates as we are transported to a fish market in Bali, Indonesia. Sharks are being carried from fishing boats to inside the market to be weighed, sized and, ultimately, have their fins chopped off for trading. Conservationist Madison Stewart narrates the massacre.

Over the next hour we are introduced to several other narrators from around the world, who all in turn have their own story to tell; Phillip Mango in Cape York; Tim Silverwood, who takes us to Hawaii’s most polluted beach, Kamilo Beach; Valerie Taylor, shark advocate and conservationist; Jennifer Lavers, a seabird expert working in the South Pacific; and Greenpeace Campaigner Mark Dia, who tells his story from the Philippines.

One of Holden’s greatest accomplishments in this documentary is her effortlessness to move between and connect the narrators yet keep it all flowing in an understanding manner. This directly links to one of the messages Blue is trying to get across – that every action, no matter where it occurs, impacts the world on a larger scale.

Blue will leave you feeling all kinds of emotions, mainly anger towards the amount of destruction humans are causing to the marine environment.

Amongst all the doom and gloom, and heartache, Holden ensures we are left knowing how we can make a positive change, on a small every day scale and global one, to play our role in being “guardians for the ocean”.

I saw Blue at the Comedy Theatre, an old school style theatre which was a lovely setting for a touching documentary.

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If you care at all about the oceans, which you should considering oceans cover more than 70% of the surface of our planet, take action. No matter how big or small that action may be, you can help make a change.

Do your part to be an #oceanguardian by:
– Investing in ethical companies
– Stop wasting stuff
– Demand supermarkets reduce plastic packaging
– Call for the protection of sharks
– Change to renewable energy – Stop eating unsustainable fish
– Urge governments to ban plastic bottles & bags
– Clean up a beach
– Get in the ocean
– Vote for leaders who prioritise nature
– Educate yourself by seeing Blue, which will be in cinemas around Australia and New Zealand October 12. 

Find out more info on how you can take action by visiting Blue’s website here.

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