on March 31, 2008
I was fortunate enough to be in Canada last year when this amazing film was being shown at a university theatre. Having won over twenty international film awards and garnered much critical acclaim, it's shocking how little exposure and theatrical play this film has had in the US. Regardless, this is easily one of the very best documentaries I've seen.
I was taken off-guard by how little I really knew about sharks aside from the terrible misconceptions so many of us have been fed since childhood. Rob Stewart does a magnificent job of thoroughly dismantling the caricature of sharks as ferocious monsters deserving of our fear and hatred, instead capturing the gentle beauty and vital importance of these creatures to life as we know it. The frightening ordeal Stewart finds himself in while filming is worthwhile viewing in itself. You don't need to be an environmentalist to appreciate Stewart's courageous documentation of the heart-wrenching barbarity imposed upon sharks (and other aquatic life).
Watch this film with as many friends and relatives as you can. We all need to be more aware of the impact humans are having on the environment. Sharkwater is a milestone effort in raising this awareness.
on November 28, 2010
I like to eat shark fin soup until I read reports and watch this title.. This show speak a loud for Sharks.
It is a wake up call for humans. I am not only concerning about sharks but all other animals too. Eg Tigers hunted for the skin and other product, Fur creatures skinned for their furs.(Just to name a few.) This young man risk his life to produce this show to warn all of us, The message is simple. Do not upset of food chain of the ocean as Sharks has live in the ocean longer than any of us. It is maintained the food chain of the ocean well until man started to hunt them for their fins. If the world comes to an end, it is not God's ideal but we end this mother world by ourselves.
Be kind to animals as we are all created by God.
on July 9, 2011
The documentary, "Sharkwater," by filmmaker and naturalist Rob Stewart, has, essentially, a twofold purpose: to rehabilitate the reputation of the shark by countering many of the myths and misconceptions that, over the millennia, have grown up around the creature, and to raise awareness in the general public that the shark is basically being hunted out of existence by poachers eager to sell its high-priced fin - shark-fin soup being one of the priciest delicacies in Asian cooking. Compounding the tragedy is the fact that the fin is largely inedible and used mainly for ornamentation. According to Stewart, 100 million sharks are killed each year to support this billion dollar industry, resulting in the world's shark population declining by an estimated 90%. Yet, because they are not cute and cuddly creatures, there is no real constituency fighting for sharks as there is for dolphins and seals. Stewart's film is a small-step attempt to rectify that situation.
Stewart begins by demonstrating that sharks and humans can exist in harmony together. This he does by donning scuba gear and plunging into shark-infested waters where he proceeds to pet, cuddle and play with the animals, all without incident. He also cites a number of statistics to back up his assertion, the prime one being that only five people per year on average are killed by sharks while a hundred or so are killed annually by elephants.
Then he moves on to the more political aspects of the issue. The movie sets up an interesting dichotomy between two realms of existence, juxtaposing the beauty of nature with the ugliness of the human world. For while we're being shown eye-popping, multi-colored images of life under water - all in gorgeous hi-def, I might add - there's plenty of drama taking place on the high seas, as Stewart joins up with Paul Watson, a "direct action" conservationist who has devoted his entire adult life to roaming the oceans, trying to put a halt to the wholesale slaughter of the creatures who reside therein. We see Watson and his crew getting into tense confrontations with poachers, only to find THEMSELVES the object of pursuit by Costa Rican authorities. Stewart points out how corrupt governments like the one in Costa Rica outlaw shark hunting on an official level - in order to maintain their appeal to eco-conscious tourists - then secretly profit from it by looking the other way as poachers illegally operate off their coasts.
And it isn't just out of compassion for the shark that Stewart and his buddies have mounted a crusade against this mass poaching. It's out of concern for the ecosystem itself, as the diminution or, heaven forbid, the elimination of one of the world's great predators could upset the delicate natural balance in ways we can not yet fully comprehend - including potentially increasing the amount of carbon dioxide pumped into the atmosphere if plankton-eating creatures that are current shark prey are allowed to flourish in ever-greater numbers.
But there is hope. At the time this film was released (2007), sixteen countries had already banned shark-finning (hopefully more effectively than Costa Rica), and the general public had begun to fight back, as evidenced by mass street protests that began springing up in places like Costa Rica to help raise awareness of the issue - much as this film itself does.
Stewart - who wrote, directed, produced and served as cinematographer for this amazing and inspiring film - can be justifiably proud of both his mission and his work.
on February 27, 2008
A stunning and remarkable documentary film about the illegal fishing of sharks for the Asian food market that is both riveting and beautiful to watch. The film documents director Rob Stewart's discovery and determination in letting the public know about the plight of sharks being killed off. The High Def imagery/cinematography is simply incredible and I'm sure the Bluray disc will look equally impressive as when I saw it on the AFI' Silver Theatre DLP system in March of 2006. The film is essential in educating all about the misconceptions and slaughter of sharks, it is both enlightening and ultimately heartbreaking - highly recommended!
on March 25, 2016
I saw this in a semester in college. My environmental professor showed us this and it's one of the movies that makes me want to pursue Marine Biology as my major. It's really sad what they do to these animals, Sharks are my favorite Marine animals and they aren't as dangerous as people believe them to be. I wanted to add this to my library of movies just incase I ever need to show someone a great shark documentary.
on April 23, 2013
The filmmaker is an extremist in the likes of pAUL wATSON (who actually makes a cameo appearance!) but the film is well made. It is entertaining to the end and has a great soundtrack - plus how can you go wrong with a film about sharks? I love the theme, with shark finning being demonized and explained to audiences, and it leaves viewers with a sense of urgency about saving Jaws.
on August 19, 2010
This movie should be watched by everybody! It shows how we are allowing the killing of millions of sharks for just obtaining their fins! It is unbelievable. I hope that with more and more people aware of this fact, if they know who are paying lots of money to eat shark fin soup, will stop them doing it. As soon as we stop paying for shark finning, there will be nobody willing to do it. I sincerely hope this is easier than stopping people to pay for drugs.
Even if you are not militant on the conservationism troops, this movie will entertain and leave a strong feeling about the importance of sharks in Nature, before we discover it the hard way.
The bluray transfer quality is very good. I just hope a new version with multilingual subtitles is made available soon to increase its effect around the world.