Sunday 6 October 2019

Sanctuary - film review

This documentary follows brothers Javier and Carlos Bardem, as they join scientists and Greenpeace volunteers on their voyage aboard the Arctic Sunrise to raise awareness and support for the Antarctic Sanctuary campaign which aims to create a marine sanctuary in the Antarctic's Weddell Sea. 

The film looks at the challenges facing the Antarctic, currently considered to be the most unspoilt place on earth. It looks at the impact of industrial fishing, climate change and the recent huge increase in tourism. Tourism of course has its benefits in terms of inspiring people to spread the word about the need to protect the unique landscapes and wildlife of Antarctica as well as its downside of bringing so many people to the place. It also looks at the benefits of having celebrities such as the Bardem brothers taking part in an environmental campaign as they can take the messages further out than the scientists along would be able to.

The film is beautifully shot, showing a variety of the wonderful Antarctic wildlife including penguins, sea lions and a wealth of underwater wildlife - including sponges, corals and fish - that very few people have ever seen.

The film also includes footage of the Bardem brothers in their role as ambassadors for the Antarctic as they visit politicians and speak on radio and TV shows and follows the Greenpeace campaigners as they drive the campaign forward.

The campaign to create a marine sanctuary in the Weddell Sea in fact failed but is seen as a starting point for a larger campaign to increase the number of marine sanctuaries around the world.

Sanctuary was screened as part of the Edinburgh Spanish Film Festival at the Filmhouse and hopefully will get a more general release in due course.


Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Oh, that is too bad their efforts failed, but as you say it is a good start. Our oceans need these.

Jeff (Sage) said...

Sounds like an interesting film. Over the past decade, I have met more and more people who have gone tot the Antarctic as tourist. The one who didn’t go as a tourist was a former Dean of the school of science of a university, he got to stay for a couple of months as part of a team evaluating scientific graduate work. I was most envious of his trip!