Published Jul 16, 2009Whether it's the water crisis, Antarctic climate change, depletion of non-renewable resources, plastic or the extinction of species, the enviro-documentary has been in full force ever since Al Gore's little inconvenient truth turned a few heads. The End of the Line is no exception, covering much of the information outlined in Charles Clover's book of the same name, which illustrates, amongst other things, that without change our fish population will be depleted by 2048 due to over-fishing and consumption.
It seems that this crisis hasn't arrived without warning, as most notably, in 1992, Newfoundland depleted their Cod stock, resulting in the loss of some 40,000 jobs. Nearly a decade later, when scientists found global fish harvest numbers to be "too good to be true," it was discovered that China had been fudging figures for some time in the name of politics and money, causing immediate alarm and concern.
Since money, and progress without perspective or analysis, sustains human psychology and ideology, these inconveniences were, and still are, ignored by most, given these symptoms of exigency are visible only to experts in the field. Not to mention how difficult it would be to convince trendsetters that eating Bluefin is highly problematic.
Rupert Murray's documentary is mostly a talking heads affair but it benefits from its subject matter, which lends itself well to expansive cinematography. Points convince through simplified language and charts juxtaposed with fishing techniques and aquatic life. What stands out is the doc's ability to move beyond finger wagging and offer solutions to the audience as to how to make a difference themselves.
While the act of watching the film is certainly a frustrating one, given its striking ability to point out the true plight of boundless human ignorance, it's also necessary, as the information is certain to act as a wake up call. That is, for those that don't leave the theatre, pop a Zoloft, head to the gym and think about what colour to paint their foyer. (Mongrel Media)