Docu shows grim costs of commercial fishing; violence.
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Seaspiracy is a stunning documentary about the harm of commercial fishing practices. Lots of violence to animals and animal harm is shown. We see blood, gore, and the live killing of many sea creatures like dolphins, whales, sea turtles, shrimp, sharks, and other fish, like salmon. Animated recreations of human murder; we see a woman being shot in the head, blood shown. More scenes of abuse, dead bodies floating in water, dead bodies in freezers. Real scenes captured of enslaved people crying out for help, interviews with former enslaved workers. The claims in the film are shocking and involve the filmmaker's attempt to uncover fraud and corruption on a huge scale, backed with evidence from journalists, authors, marine biologists, oceanographers, frontline activists, and industry insiders. An incredible indictment of many governments, organizations, groups, industries, companies, brands, fisheries, and commercial fishing practices, this film will likely change the world and inspire young activists.
Many valuable lessons
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Important messages and revelations
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What's the Story?
In SEASPIRACY, filmmaker Ali Tabrizi sets out to make a nature documentary about dolphins. Instead, he ends up tracing and uncovering the world-ending costs of the commercial fishing industry. Tabrizi puts himself in danger by using hidden cameras to film dangerous locations around the world that harbor, protect, and maintain illegal fishing markets, like the dolphin and shark markets. His journey finds him uncovering a deeper and more connected system of fraud, corruption, money, and government cooperation.
Is It Any Good?
A devastating indictment of commercial fishing, this whistleblower documentary is stunning, tragic, emotional, and difficult to watch. Seaspiracy uncovers and reveals tons of information about how and why the commercial fishing industry is killing the planet, ourselves, and our future. If stomaching the animal harm, violence, gore, and killing is possible, this film should be a critical if not absolutely necessary watch. It's a lot to stomach, and part of the point is surely to not sugarcoat the actual brutality of what goes on. Lots of companies, organizations, and governments being "in on it" is also incredibly alarming. Full of stunning revelations, this film is tough but necessary viewing. For one, it greatly helps put better perspective on what is actually harming our oceans. And it isn't plastic. Well, it is, but more so, commercial fishing is the problem. The fishing industry work collectively to hide these problems, and they control the messaging. For example, the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill disaster that everyone fretted over pumped tons and tons of oil into the ocean over 3 months, killing lots of sea life. But in only 1 day, and in only 1 area, the Gulf of Mexico, commercial fishing kills as many. Actually, because of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, fish and oceans healed and benefitted from the spill because it caused a reduction in commercial fishing for even just a few days. The atrocity of "bycatch" needs to be addressed. It's the same as killing 200,000 horses, just to capture and kill 100 deer, for example. Needlessly killing millions of sharks, dolphins, and sea turtles, all to catch 100 Pacific Bluefin Tuna, is a complete waste and is hugely detrimental to the balance of our oceans (only a few decades ago, Pacific Bluefin Tuna were abundant, but now less than 3% remain). Wiping out the apex predator in any ecosystem will have incredibly tragic domino effect consequences.
The filmmaker also puts himself into the narrative, for better and for worse. At first, it seems this is a questionable decision as all the information, interviews, data, and discovery could still have been presented without a "main character" or protagonist. Even when Tabrizi "follows the money" and finds rampant fraud, misleading behavior, and vague statements, the evidence uncovered could've been delivered without following Tabrizi around. But by the end of the film it becomes clearer why Tabrizi is present. He's there to humanly hold the viewer's hands through this alarming predicament. Without Tabrizi's or any human perspective to witness all this with, the film might have been too much to stomach: simply being bombarded with sad, tragic, and horrible fact after fact, image after image. Nevertheless, this documentary is packed with conventional examples, testimonies, evidence, interviews with scientists, researchers, activists, journalists, and other whistleblowers. Teens and families who are passionate about saving the environment will have much to discuss and reflect upon.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about activism in documentaries. Does Seaspiracy succeed in convincing you of its message? Why or why not?
Discuss the argumentative methods used in the documentary. What was most effective? Least effective?
Did you like the filmmaker being in the film? What purpose do you think this had? Did it work or do you think the film would've been better without the filmmaker's presence?
How does this movie promote the character strength of compassion?
- On DVD or streaming: March 24, 2021
- Cast: Ali Tabrizi, Alistair Allan, Mark Palmer, George Monbiot
- Director: Ali Tabrizi
- Studio: Netflix
- Genre: Documentary
- Topics: Activism, Ocean Creatures, Science and Nature
- Character Strengths: Compassion
- Run time: 89 minutes
- MPAA rating: NR
- Last updated: March 2, 2022
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