Paradoxical as it might seem, this planet suffering from human activity requires even more human activity if there’s any hope of saving it. National Geographic documentary Sea of Shadows is hell-bent on reminding us of that fact.
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Ladkani’s camerawork is agile and sleek, and the editing is super-sound, so even with a complicated web of crime, corruption, socioeconomic tension, multiple languages, blurred-out faces and folks who operate in the dark, it’s easy to follow.
The plot twists are so spot on that a screenwriter might have rejected them.
Richard Ladkani’s Sea of Shadows, which bristles with drama and a panicky sense of righteous anger, uses the potential extinction of one little-known species of whale to symbolize a far larger and potentially globe-spanning problem.
Told with straightforward investigative nous and a judicious teardrop of anguished sentimentality, the film makes a virtue of its many clashing participants: journalists, scientists, activists, navy officials and fishermen, each with a slightly different stance on the matter.
It’s the investigative portion of the movie that is most engaging.
While success is not guaranteed, Sea of Shadows dramatically demonstrates how and why the battle continues to be fought.
What they tell us is inherently alarming, yet it’s a shame that such crimes aren’t conveyed in a more visually compelling way.
It is heartfelt, but its periodic attempts at thriller-style bouts of excitement are redundant, and I wondered sometimes if the film-makers were sure what exactly their story was.
Ladkani's Sea of Shadows is a stirring adventure — inspiring and heartbreaking in equal measure.