Ocean Warriors: Chasing The Thunder (Mark Benjamin, Marc Levin, 2018): USA

Reviewed by Diana Diaz. Viewed at the Metro 4 Theater, Santa Barbara.

To the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and directors of this film,

How dare you make an adventure on the high seas that registers as far too exciting for a documentary!  No doubt this propagandist piece serves as both recruiting and fundraising tool for the future by making environmental work seem adventurous and exciting. How dare you!

Generations of young men were lost to a life at sea, seduced by the lure of making money for what can best be described a wage not much better than slavery.  This high seas adventure is on the MY Bob Barker features a crew of mostly volunteers!  And you put them in real danger from environmental challenges, and from the crew of the Thunder!  How dare you!

Events depicted in the film and too dramatic to be true.  The audience in attendance actively held their breath and sat on the edge of their seats because the pacing was so fast and the editing truly masterful.  How dare you thrill us so!  Any ounce of excess was cut out, and no scene ever dragged – an amazing feat considering that the crew is comprised of environmentalists, not actors.  Rather than makeup, the crew sported real sunburns.    In another case, a crew member risked hypothermia which gave her a bluish hue as she shivered for real.

You couldn’t have staged this better if you were working with a script and actors.   But, how can we be sure you weren’t?  How is this real and so involving?  Aren’t documentaries supposed to be a little boring and super-informative?  You gave the information so naturally, without dragging a little bit.  How dare you!  You made environmental work ballsy and sexy.  How dare you!

Sincerely,

Diana Diaz

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