Chasing the Thunder

Review by Rasmus Nilsson. Viewed at the Riviera Theatre, 2018.

Chasing the Thunder is a gripping documentary about a group of courageous activists working with Interpol and Greenpeace, risking their lives to stop poachers. The viewer follow Captain Peter Hammarstedt’s and Captain Siddharth Chakravarty’s crew for a little over one hundred days traveling around the world. During this time we see them chase down and eventually stop the notorious fishing boat “Thunder”. With a crew of 40 fishermen, the Thunder is the biggest fishing vessel part of a multi million dollar illegal fishing network. During the movie the viewer learns about the horrible damage the poachers are doing to the sea life and the climate and why it is important to stop them. They also learn about the almost slave like conditions for the fishermen working for the fishing network and how shady the captains are.

The film started out as a tv-show on Animal Planet running for one season as Ocean Warriors. Using the same footage the directors Mark Benjamin and Marc Levin cuts down Ocean Warriors from a total of six hours watch time to a feature-length documentary without losing to much of the story. The shaky handheld cameras and the intense music drives the story and keeps the viewer on their toes and wanting to see what’s going to happen next. The directors also showed some of the humor of the crew members to keep the movie from being to serious.

I thought the film brought important light to the damage the poachers are doing and the importance of stopping them. The film does this without becoming boring, overwhelming or slow considering the length of the chase. I recommend it to anyone interested in seeing a feature-length documentary that isn’t packed with information and that has a compelling narrative.



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