“Sharks of Lost Island” (2013)
Alan Martin; Neil Gelinas
Nature, documentary, sharks, coral reefs, marine ecology, narration, underwater filming, oceans, the negative impacts of humanity, pollution, garbage, carbon/human footprint, community meetings, overuse of fishing for food production (altering the amount of fish left in the world), small islands, ocean voyage, drones, science nerds, passion, care, inspiration, activism, advocacy, pursuits of the good, dramatization, interview style filming.
“Crazy” comments, sadness and depressive triggers, guilt, bird death.
How I found it?
This documentary follows a team of marine ecologists as they plunge deep into the ocean waters near the remote, and barely inhabited, Pitcairn Islands. The three main islands are miles away from New Zealand, small specks in the Pacific Ocean. They are called: Pitcairn, Henderson and Ducie islands. Deep within the waters are either pristine or well established and well nurtured coral reefs. Most of the islands have a roaring amount of sharks lurking underneath, which is a sign of immense health and nutrition for the coral reefs.
The documentary is composed of following the marine ecologists as they embark on finding ways to limit the detrimental hands and feet and existence of humanity and preserving the innocence of nature and the gifts that wildlife has within our lives on a day to day basis. The documentary hones in on how the overuse of fishing is slowly destroying the climate and the world, how fishing garbage can be found on one of the remote islands despite how far away they are, how humans influenced an island by bringing in Polynesian rats that destroyed the flightless bird population, how a harmful weed was killing off the birds, leaving their feathers sticky with its goop and slowly killing them and following a set of community members on Pitcairn to work to establish the islands as a marine reserve to help bring in the expenses of tourism and preserve the life that was threatened by the evils of humanity.
Set in interview-style commentaries, the scientists share their hopes, their excitement, their awareness and their newest discoveries with the world. While a bit over-dramatized at times, this documentary does a fine job on making its information clear to understand for the viewer and inciting care and activism to preserve what can be so that we don’t lose everything we love, care for and genuinely need remaining intact in this world and on this planet.
Cinematography & Style:
The cinematography in this documentary is pretty great, overall. There are some excellent transitions and landscape scenes that are time lapsed, gathering the use of sunlight well, filming underwater and stock shots of the boats or the scientists as they explored the islands on foot. There were interview-style voice-overs of the scientists, with images and sights to behold overlaying their words with shots in between of the scientists speaking themselves. There were cameramen shooting the scientists mostly while some of the scientists (Mike, for instance) had a hand-held camera that he shot in to give us more a “first-person” perspective. It’s a friendly documentary with great use of scenery and music to set the scene even further. Overall, I did wonder how much of the film was scripted versus not and how some of the narrations were over-dramatized and zoomed in at points that weren’t entirely necessary for the story or film (for instance, the whole drone issue, when it was flying and hyped up but then it got lost and what the point of that was to keep it in the documentary, the set-up overall of some scenes, the music, etc.)
The most memorable moment for me is probably the carcasses of the birds on the beach of Ducie Island due to the weed that arrived and got its sticky goo all over their feathers. It was just so sad and awful. Another thing I remember is some of the features of the deep dives with the fish and the clear water and that difference when one of the islands with more human inhabitants was VERY murky and gritty in spite of the clear, pristine waters were like. It made me wonder how other islands and oceans are fairing with even more human garbage, pollution, etc. existing. I also found this documentary, probably because of the human involvement and the negatives of humanity it highlighted, to be a little depressing and saddening and made me feel a little helpless and hopeless. Yet, there are good news from this documentary at the VERY end of this review, which preserves some positive aspects of humanity and the power that we hold in strong numbers. ❤
Creative in nature. (Hah! Puns) It wasn’t overly scientific so I could understand what was going on and it was very user-friendly, so to speak. Having some idea of biology and environmental stuff is a plus and a neat way to see textbook information in the flesh and in progress. 🙂
My final thoughts:
The end of the movie definitely made me think a lot and I had wondered whether the villagers and people of Pitcairn were able to make the islands a marine reserve and the answer, which is below, made my heart warm and restored some of my faith in humanity (to be honest, I have a pretty good faith in humanity overall). I thought it was a pretty neat documentary even if it probably wouldn’t be something I watched again in full or got a WHOLE lot out of. It does make me want to help the environment by picking up trash in the community, so there’s that, at least. I wasn’t quite expecting the sadness to be experienced in this documentary so that also influenced by final score. I’d say it wasn’t bad overall and I’m definitely more intrigued to watch a few more documentaries but I think that’s also because I’m not ready for more in-depth plot lines from more creative mediums.
BONUS Good News:
The islands were established as marine reserves, the largest in the world, in 2015.
Annnnnnd, you managed to make it to the very end of this review!! Thank you sooo much for stopping by, reading and if you can, leave me your thoughts or recommendations down below! I am set to have a few more posts up this week–despite the fact that I have to write them first, ahaha–so there’s that to look forward to! I’m mainly focusing on a NAMI Walks 2020 post (for Tu), a Tracking Part 2 post (W), a FRF for Fri and probably a couple others here and there.
I might do one about some SMART goals I have and life update type styles. Also one on fanfic and my social media links. I’ve decided to incorporate 5 days a week at least 30 minutes of blog interaction/commenting/liking a day and that is going super swell so far! I’m excited to do more today.
Also, this post took me FOREVER to do. I don’t know why but it was just super difficult for me to be motivated and inspired to get it done and out. In the end, especially the day I’m publishing it, I was very ruminative in my mind so it was extra hard to focus and I need to download some new music ’cause I’m just over all the same songs I’ve been listening to lately. So I really procrastinated a lot on this post and I also tried to challenge myself to upload and work on it even AFTER it’s Film Review Friday, hence why this is going up on a Mon. I have to challenge my rules more because sometimes they’re awfully shitty and unnecessary rules! (I found that having a couple of timers for like 20 mins finally got me to accomplish this post and publish it!!)
Any who, again, thank you for reading. I hope you enjoy my posts! Feel free to leave me a link or something to your own stuff if you’d especially like me to read and comment. Thanks again! ❤ ❤ ❤
Handwritten minimal notes: 4/29.2020;
Typed and written, added and edited: 5/7 & 5/11/2020