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BLUE is the story our generation need to hear. In the last 40 years, half of all marine life has been lost as increased coastal industrialisation, illegal fishing practices and pollution all change the way the ocean operates. Director Karina Holden teams up with a range of conservationists, marine biologists and activists for a detailed and visually stunning examination of the current state of the world’s oceans and how we are failing them.

There is no one thing wrong with the world’s marine life and Holden does a good job balancing the many facets of this environmental crisis. The documentary provides equal weight to the plight of sea birds dying from an increase in plastic pollution to the industrialisation of fishing practices in Indonesia and the Philippines that are placing more and more species on the endangered list.

Yet Holden’s nuanced take on the subject doesn’t just include looking at the many threats facing the ocean but at how those threats are ingrained in our society and culture. While the industrialisation of fishing in Indonesia and the Philippines are quickly depleting the numbers of rare and endangered species, it is also saving many families in those communities from poverty and starvation. The scale of these threats can often be so big that they can seem too remote to truly hit home yet the film succeeds in grounding these issues, relating the problem back to the decisions people make everyday like the food we eat and the plastic we discard.

Credit must go to Director of Photography Judy Muston and Underwater Cinematographer Jon Shaw for crafting incredibly evocative, and at times, shocking, images. Shaw’s capturing of sea life is often breathtaking and heartbreaking. Seeing the many dead carcasses of de-finned sharks drift listlessly through the water says far more about the need for action than any statistic. Together with Holden’s careful grasp of these issues, they create a profound and stirring call to action, one that can’t be ignored for much longer.

In cinemas Thursday, 12 October 2017

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