Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Kristen Stewart Is First American Actress Nominated for César Awards in 30 Years; 'Saint Laurent' Leads with Ten Kristen Stewart Is First American Actress Nominated for César Awards in 30 Years; 'Saint Laurent' Leads with Ten How They Sustained the Times Square Momentum in 'Birdman' VIDEO How They Sustained the Times Square Momentum in 'Birdman' VIDEO 6 Things to Know About Sexy Sundance Breakout 'Diary of a Teenage Girl,' Part of Sundance's Women's New Wave 6 Things to Know About Sexy Sundance Breakout 'Diary of a Teenage Girl,' Part of Sundance's Women's New Wave Sundance Raves About Ewan McGregor as Jesus and the Devil in 'Last Days in the Desert' Sundance Raves About Ewan McGregor as Jesus and the Devil in 'Last Days in the Desert' Filmmakers, Give Us Your Numbers! Sundance and Cinereach Unveil The Transparency Project Filmmakers, Give Us Your Numbers! Sundance and Cinereach Unveil The Transparency Project Top Ten Takeaways: Polarizing 'American Sniper' Speeds Past $200 Million; Lopez Trounces Depp Top Ten Takeaways: Polarizing 'American Sniper' Speeds Past $200 Million; Lopez Trounces Depp Arthouse Audit: Panic Time? 'Mommy,' 'Red Army,' 'Black Sea,' 'Cake,' 'Duke of Burgundy' All Disappoint Arthouse Audit: Panic Time? 'Mommy,' 'Red Army,' 'Black Sea,' 'Cake,' 'Duke of Burgundy' All Disappoint 2015 PGA Winners: 'Birdman' Steals 'Boyhood''s Awards Season Thunder 2015 PGA Winners: 'Birdman' Steals 'Boyhood''s Awards Season Thunder Watch: Nicole Kidman Talks 'Strangerland' at Sundance (Exclusive Video Interview) Watch: Nicole Kidman Talks 'Strangerland' at Sundance (Exclusive Video Interview) Sundance Acquisitions Market Heats Up with 'The Bronze' and 
'The Witch' Sundance Acquisitions Market Heats Up with 'The Bronze' and 'The Witch' Sundance: Netflix Inks Four-Picture Deal with Duplass Brothers Sundance: Netflix Inks Four-Picture Deal with Duplass Brothers Early Reviews Portend Sundance Breakout in Stylish Historical Horror 'The Witch' Early Reviews Portend Sundance Breakout in Stylish Historical Horror 'The Witch' Sundance: 5 Things to Expect From Alex Gibney's Damning Scientology Doc 'Going Clear' Sundance: 5 Things to Expect From Alex Gibney's Damning Scientology Doc 'Going Clear' Sundance Reviews: 'The Bronze' Is "Potty-Mouthed," "Vinegar-Spirited," Racy Gymnast Comedy Sundance Reviews: 'The Bronze' Is "Potty-Mouthed," "Vinegar-Spirited," Racy Gymnast Comedy 'American Sniper' Writer Jason Hall Addresses Concerns About Clint Eastwood's Controversial War Pic 'American Sniper' Writer Jason Hall Addresses Concerns About Clint Eastwood's Controversial War Pic Martin Scorsese Breaks Long-Awaited 'Silence,' Set to Begin Filming This Month Martin Scorsese Breaks Long-Awaited 'Silence,' Set to Begin Filming This Month Watch: Meet the Women of 'Birdman' (Exclusive 4-Minute Featurette) Watch: Meet the Women of 'Birdman' (Exclusive 4-Minute Featurette) Watch: Hitchcock's Thwarted Holocaust Documentary Comes to HBO Watch: Hitchcock's Thwarted Holocaust Documentary Comes to HBO Best Actor Oscar Predictions 2015 UPDATED Best Actor Oscar Predictions 2015 UPDATED Oscar Predictions 2015 Oscar Predictions 2015

Review: Sun Valley Film Fest Opener 'Mission Blue' Plumbs Depths of Oceanographer Sylvia Earle (VIDEO)

Photo of Ryan Lattanzio By Ryan Lattanzio | TOH! March 14, 2014 at 3:24PM

You won't be ordering fish off the menu soon after viewing Fisher Stevens' new documentary "Mission Blue," which world premiered at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival and just opened Idaho's Sun Valley Film Festival on Thursday night.
0
'Mission Blue'
'Mission Blue'

You won't be ordering fish off the menu soon after viewing Fisher Stevens' new documentary "Mission Blue," which world premiered at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival and just opened Idaho's Sun Valley Film Festival on Thursday night. 

Both a profile of the life's work of renowned oceanographer Sylvia Earle and a call to reconsider our treatment of the deep seas to which she has dedicated her life, the film will appeal to fans of "Blackfish" and the documentary work of James Cameron, who makes a few appearances here. (Video interview with director Fisher Stevens is below.)

"Mission" toggles focus between Sylvia Earle's ocean mission and her trailblazing past as a Sally Ride of the seas--Earle was the first woman to dive to such depths in the '60s, in a time where men like filmmaker Jacques Cousteau (a hero of Earle's) dominated the underwaters. The film is less an instructive guide on how we can save the oceans from the forces of over-fishing, carbon emissions and pesticide runoff than a baton to pass to younger generations: this is why we need to save our oceans, and here are a few ideas. Go forth.

With personality for days, director Fisher Stevens -- who brought his "Crazy Love" to Santa Barbara in 2007, and won an Oscar in 2010 for producing the devastating doc "The Cove" -- follows Earle for three years, fine-tuning his own diving skills while diving into the psyche of a woman who, in her own words, doesn't get along with anyone who doesn't share her passions. One such passion is algae, a collection of which she carefully curated through the decades and keeps at the Smithsonian in DC.

Like "Blackfish," "Mission Blue" assaults us with horrific images of over-fishing and the dark side of maritime practices: the severing of shark fins for exotic cuisine, the systematic annihilation of bluefin tuna and the loss of much of the world's menhaden, a prey fish, to fish oil production. Refracted through "Blue," the whole industry starts to look more like a genocide, as the film forces us to look uncomfortably close at the realities and ramifications of our seafaring palates.

Director and ocean pioneer James Cameron calls Earle "the Joan of Arc of the seas," and after watching "Mission Blue" it's hard to disagree. This woman has almost literally taken her entire life out to sea, even pulling her kids out of school to go to the Galapagos, and letting a string of marriages suffer. She's one tough cookie. 

On my way home from the screening that night, I stopped for a bite to eat. But I did not order fish.

This article is related to: Festivals, Santa Barbara International Film Festival, Fisher Stevens, Sun Valley, Sun Valley Film Festival


E-Mail Updates