One question that arises when watching a documentary like Chasing Coral is “How can people deny climate change is happening?”. The work explores the alarming state of coral reefs, powerfully representing the dire effect that the rising sea temperature is having on this underwater ecosystem.
There is nothing easy about watching this film; through use of stunning visuals it forces the audience to take note, and be shocked. When learning that 50% of the reefs globally have died in the last 30 years one cannot be anything but alarmed. There is a false sense of security that climate change won’t affect much in our lifetime, but this narrative contradicts that assurance. This is a danger that we are facing now, meaning that we must act promptly.
The documentary is about two activists and divers Richard Vevers and Zackery Rago, following their story of trying to create time lapses of the coral reefs. What began as a project to allow more people access to seeing what beauty lies underwater, became a mission to show the damage that climate change is having on this ecosystem. When watching a documentary one can often see the passion of the filmmaker come through, but here the viewer is allowed to experience this passion through the people on screen. The amount of dedication these men have is remarkable, and we can see their enthusiasm shine through every moment we witness.
The comparison images shown towards the end of the film are incredibly powerful, made more so by the fact the audience knows the level of commitment that went into getting them. Seeing the contrast between the healthy and dead coral is heartbreaking, especially when keeping in mind that these images were taken over only one month. What makes this reality more powerful throughout watching is the beautiful score, which highlights the intense emotion of a scene.
Chasing Coral ends with images of healthy coral, showing off the visually stunning nature of being underwater while reminding us that there is still a chance to save this ecosystem. This is a documentary about passionate people trying to save the thing they love, and one cannot help but care deeply about the state of the coral reefs and in turn the state of the planet.
Chasing Coral does not have a UK release date yet.
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