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Sharkwater Extinction

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Canada · 2018
1h 30m
Director Rob Stewart
Starring Rob Stewart, Paul Watson, Madison Stewart, Les Stroud
Genre Documentary

After discovering that sharks are being hunted to near-extinction, filmmaker and activist Rob Stewart becomes determined to save the shark population. An investigation reveals a multi-billion dollar scandal surrounding a fishing industry steeped in corruption, where greed has caused historic slaughter of wildlife.

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What are people saying?

What are critics saying?


Film Threat by Alan Ng

It is both inspiring and beautiful and makes an even stronger case for protecting shark since Sharkwater. The message is heavy-handed, but his visual images are stunning to soften the blow.


The Hollywood Reporter by Frank Scheck

There's a scattershot quality to the proceedings, presumably caused by the Canadian writer-director not living long enough to complete the doc. But the individual segments register powerfully and the underwater sequences are beautifully shot, providing ample compensation for the narrative choppiness.


The New York Times by Glenn Kenny

Stewart recounts how he thought that if his films could make people love these animals, he could push popular opinion against their being hunted. He doesn’t quite pull this off here, despite impressive footage of him swimming with sharks. He does, however, convince us that these superpredators are important to oceanic ecosystems and that because they are so indiscriminate in their eating habits, they are full of toxins.


Original-Cin by Jim Slotek

In Sharkwater Extinction, we also get a glimpse of the sanguine approach Stewart brought to coming face-to-face with the extermination of the creatures he loves.


CineVue by John Bleasdale

An urgent and moving plea for action against the illegal trade in shark fins and more generally for the conservation of marine life in our rapidly dirtier and emptier oceans.


Los Angeles Times by Michael Rechtshaffen

While Stewart didn’t live to see the enactment of a new California law last fall that will see the phasing out of the practice already banned elsewhere in the world, his passionate documentary, boasting stirring underwater photography and an equally poignant Jonathan Goldsmith score, speaks urgently on his behalf.


Variety by Nick Schager

A testament to its maker’s staunch belief in the cause of shark preservation, it’s a plea for transparency and conservation whose gorgeous 4K cinematography should make it an enticing proposition for nonfiction cinephiles and activists alike.

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