Saturday Morning Documentary: Eco Pirate: The Story of Paul Watson

9 02 2013

It`s been quite a while since I last watched a documentary on Saturday morning, mostly because I always find myself having things to do and write on the weekend because of school.  With some time to spare, I was finally able to open my Documentaries folder and take a look at one of the movies that have been waiting patiently.  I remember when Eco Pirate played at Fifth Ave.  Hardly anyone went to see it, unfortunately, and we only screened it for a week.  It`s a good documentary, and director Trish Dolman isn`t afraid to show some very disturbing, graphic images, like whales being harpooned and killed, and even more terrifying and unexpected, baby seals getting bludgeoned in the Arctic.  But it`s moments like these, this uncensored look at what Paul and the rest of his followers really believe in stopping.  It`s the ugly truth of what goes on in the world, and people, as Paul says, are ”stupid”.  What some people believe to be eco-terrorism, this film examines the injustice of nations who proceed with illegal activity or in some cases, like Japan, blatantly lie about their whaling purposes (they call it ”research” yet others point out that you don`t need to kill whales to study them), Watson looks more and more reasonable in his actions.  He and his crew throw stink bombs onto other boats, clog their waste outlets (ie. the holes near the bottom of the ships where blood from whales pours out), and sometimes even ram the ships, all in the name of protecting animals and the environment.

If you have the stomach and eyes for watching animals getting killed a bit, then I would recommend this documentary.  It may be a little long, but the entire film is a well-made and fascinating portrait of a man willing to make the change no one else will do.

Watching Olympics stresses me out

2 08 2012

Does it do that to others?  Today, I was watching the Canada vs. Japan match for women’s doubles badminton, and I was so on edge and stressed out watching it, that I had to switch the channel and watch some guys do kayak slalom, which was not even close to being as stressed out.  It was just really exciting!  I don’t believe Canada’s had an badminton team go so far in the Olympics before, and the fact that the scores were, at times, so close, was really nerve-wracking.  Yikes!

Saturday Morning Documentaries: The Cove

4 07 2010

I was never the kind of kid who would wake up bright and early on Saturday mornings to watch a block of cartoons — since I preferred sleeping in instead and I would always catch the episodes later on that week after school. I wonder who thought of such a concept; programming multiple cartoons on the weekend early in the morning so kids will wake up, probably make lots of noise and wake up their parents. Brilliant.

Since January of this year, every Saturday morning, I’ve taken to watching not cartoons, but documentaries (though a few times, I’ve had to postpone my Saturday mornings to Sunday mornings/afternoons). The best thing about this is I don’t have a set time for my Saturdays — whenever I wake up is when I start which, then technically, it should be called Saturday Morning/Afternoon Documentaries.

I don’t remember the exact order of all the documentaries I’ve watched since I started but I thought I’d start making a list of everything I’ve seen and then provide a weekly update to what I’ll be watching. Luckily, I go to imdb after I watch anything and rate it, so I do have a list of most, if not all, the documentaries I’ve seen.

The Cove posterThis is definitely not the first documentary I saw for my series, but it’s certainly one of the most memorable. The Cove, which I’m sure most people have heard of one point or another unless they’re worshippers of Twilight in which case they haven’t heard of much at all, centers around a pool of water in Japan where fishermen presumably kill dolphins. No one has documented any footage of what actually happens in the cove and a group of experts — including some dealing with high-tech spy gear, two divers from Vancouver (yay!), and Rick O’Barry, who we learn has dealt with releasing dolphins around the world and has gotten into trouble loads of times which of course makes things that more interesting — all come together to try and find out what exactly goes on in the cove. Trying to stop them are various men from the area, blocking the film crew’s cameras with either their own cameras or signs, and as the film progresses, the each side go to more and more extreme lengths to stop the other.

It’s tense and riveting and almost feels like an action film with all the equipment and the danger of going into forbidden territory. I’m trying to avoid putting spoilers in here, but I feel like I should say there are parts in the film that are genuinely disturbing; The Cove is one of those film that, like An Inconvenient Truth, is a call to action and will make you think — not just about your impact in the world, but how to change it.