Film Review: CHASING CORAL (USA 2017) ***

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CHASING CORAL.jpgCoral reefs around the world are vanishing at an unprecedented rate. A team of divers, photographers and scientists set out on a thrilling ocean adventure to discover why and to reveal the underwater mystery to the world.

Director: Jeff Orlowski
Writers: Davis Coombe, Vickie Curtis
Stars: Andrew Ackerman, Pim Bongaerts, Neal Cantin
Review by Gilbert Seah

 
Opening Friday July 14th on Netflix and in a few few cinemas (if one can be found in your city), is a Netflix original documentary, and one that is worthwhile to take a look at, in terms of education and importance of the consequences of global warming.

Those familiar with filmmaker Jeff Orlowski will remember his Emmy Award winning documentary CHASING ICE that demonstrated the disappearance of ice on the planet’s surface over time due to climate global warming. This new documentary CHASING CORAL traces the death of corals around the world, again due to global warming. The film is timely arriving at the same time as Al Gore’s sequel to AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH and when President Donald Trump opted out of the G20 climate accord.

CHASING CORAL is both a horror story and a feel good film. Director Orlowski who co-wrote the film follows the standard format for this kind of documentary. The problem is stated, and emphasized throughout the film, then shows the facts on film with the hard and tireless work put in by those involved. He then shows where the problem is headed and what one can do about it. Experts are interviewed to underline the key points in the film.

CHASING CORAL also turns out to be entertaining through the many stunning photographed shots of corals with fish and other creatures that survive on it. Though the complicated cameras are shown, most of the technical details are just lightly touched. All the audience is told is that it is a very tedious and difficult process with turns out very frustrating for the time involved.

Coral reefs around the world are vanishing at an unprecedented rate. A team of divers, photographers and scientists set out on a thrilling ocean adventure to discover why and to reveal the underwater mystery to the world.

The film takes the audiences to various coral reefs around the world. Photographs are shown of dying reefs, bleached white from as far as Thailand, the Florida Keys in the U.S. and the Philippines. The most famous reef of all, The Great Barrier Ref on the east coast of Australia is where the film spends most of the time on. The most horrific fact revealed is that 29% of the corals in the northern part has died in the one year of 2016. The world has also lost 50 % of all the coral life in the past 30 years. A presentation of the fact is shown with spectators wiping tears from their eyes. It is a devastating fact. The reefs feed the ocean life and with that gone, the forests and eventually man will perish through the destruction of the Eco-system.

It i weird that despite all the warnings Orlowski has sounded during his film, he ends it on a positive note saying the emission of carbon fuels are already cut down and that many cities around the world are already doing their part. The U.S. is not on the list of countries doing their part.

Trailer: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v= b6fHA9R2cKI

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