Thursday, July 09, 2015

"Mission Blue": biography of ocean researcher Sylvia Erle


Mission Blue” (2014), directed by Robert Nixon and Fisher Stevens, a joint effort of National Geographic and Netflix, is a documentary about the work of NatGeo “Explorer in Residence” Sylvia Earle  much of her work dating back to the 70s and 80s. A lot of the footage is older, in narrower aspect, and emphasizes the novelty, at the time, of female divers or ocean explores.

The film focuses on areas around the Galapagos, Florida, and the Gulf of Mexico.  She describes the Gulf has having become America’s toilet, largely because of the oil resource, especially after the BP Horizon disaster in 2010.  There is an interesting narrative about the Tampa area, which used to have a lot of natural swampland and has been paved over, probably contributing a lot to the unpredictable sinkhole problem plaguing homeowners.

There is a lot of discussion of overfishing, and about killing of sharks for skinning.

She also talks about cetaceans, especially whale sharks. 

She warns us that we may not see damage to the oceans easily, but without them, we would look like Mars (shown), or maybe Venus.


The film may be rented on Netflix Instant Play.  The film also had the help of Insurgent Media and of Ted Talks.

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