(out of 5)
Paul Watson is the charismatic leader of Sea Shepherd, an organization dedicated to protecting the creatures of the deep blue sea in ways that they feel Greenpeace fails to do. Instead of focusing on diplomacy or changing policy, Sea Shepherd takes ships out into protected international waters and terrorizes, attacks and sometimes sinks whaling vessels that are hunting sea mammals illegally. This film biography of the organization’s leader examines his private life, including his troubled relationships and his origins with Greenpeace before his love of radical behaviour got him ejected. Watson’s methods are unorthodox and, as one interview subject puts it, he has no qualms about promoting a cult of personality with his followers, but the film never shies away from pointing out how effective he is either: Japanese whaling ships have only been able to meet 50% of their hunting quota since he took to patrolling their activity. Whatever your feelings about the man and his mission, the film meets this ambivalence by including as much criticism as support from the various people it interviews, but most impressively features some awe-inspiring footage (some of it decades old) that never fails to entertain.
Directed by Trish Dolman
Produced by Trish Dolman, Kevin Eastwood,
Music by Michael Brook
Film Editing by Brendan Woollard