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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
One of the documentary's main purposes is to educate its viewers on the various harms that humans' reckless treatment of the environment has caused over the years. While they are the focus of the documentary, turtles also act as a lens through which it's easy to talk about other worrisome environmental topics. For example, rising temperatures on Earth cause birth defects and almost exclusively female births among the sea turtle population. Also, the tons of plastics that end up in the ocean are filling turtles' stomachs and wreaking massive harm all across ecosystems around the world.
Our time on Earth should not be just about us. It should be about realizing that there's a larger world that exists beyond our own everyday doings. Work hard to leave the Earth better than you found it, and to take steps in that direction learn how to avoid actively harming Earth.
Positive Role Models
The documentary shows dozens of people working to help sick turtles and clean up beaches, in both professional and volunteer capacities. None of the people shown and interviewed come across as self-centered with their activism, and they serve as fantastic examples to any viewer of kind and earnest people who are doing the important work every day of caring about a cause larger than themselves.
Violence & Scariness
While there's no outright traumatic violence in the documentary, there are a few traumatic images of injured and sick and even dead sea turtles. While they are certainly integral to the purposes of the documentary (the idea is that humans and their careless treatment of the environment are the violent ones in this dynamic), some of the images of tumor-ridden and emaciated sea turtles (and some with birth defects) might prove a bit too much to handle for more sensitive and especially nature-loving kids.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
There's some conversation about sea turtles' mating habits, and how high water temperatures are causing birth defects and a high female birth percentage among sea turtles (whose sex at birth is determined by external influences) around the world.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Troubled Waters: A Turtle's Tale is an hour-long nature and environmental documentary that lists the various ways in which sea turtles around the world are endangered by the detrimental effects that reckless human action has had on the environment. The documentary also spends a considerable portion of its runtime profiling and interviewing various people in Florida who are working in both professional and volunteer capacities to help nurse turtles back to health and also prevent future harm (e.g. it profiles one brewing company that uses biodegradable six-pack containers as opposed to the commonly seen plastic ones). As the documentary spends time focusing on several turtle-affecting throughout its runtime-- rising sea and air temperatures around the globe, light pollution, and plastic debris in the ocean-- it also argues that humans should be aware of these problems as a whole and not just in terms of the effects they have on sea turtles. It's a worthwhile watch both because of the role models it portrays and because of the important wake-up calls that it alerts viewers to, but the images it shows of dead and sick and injured turtles might be unsuitable for especially sensitive kids.
Is It Any Good?
In addition to painting a comprehensive and sometimes graphic (there are several images of dead, injured, and sick sea turtles) picture of the ways in which human recklessness towards the environment has caused harm for sea turtles around the world, Troubled Waters: A Turtle's Tale also shows the wider effects that these problems are currently causing on the natural world.
The documentary is extremely well made because of one main fact: how many voices it incorporates. It might have been one thing to make a movie about one small clinic's efforts to combat humans' damage on the world, but it is another and far more difference-making thing to show several different clinics whose employees are all working to alleviate the same damages (which is what Troubled Waters: A Turtle's Tale is). It's obvious how much effort the filmmakers put into proving the dire nature of their message that humans should do a better job at living mindfully in the world. Further, the documentary offers many small ways in which people can make a difference (e.g. buying more sustainable containers instead of just plastics). Overall, Troubled Waters: A Turtle's Tale is not only emotionally powerful, but also impeccably researched and influential towards creating the difference that it says is so important.
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