'Sharkwater Extinction' VOD & Theatrical: Great White Hope for Finny Friends Brings Issues to Surface
The February 1st VOD premiere of the 2019 Sharkwater Films documentary "Sharkwater Extinction" shows that filmmaker/conservationist Rob Stewart channels the spirit of "Aquaman." The incredible underwater and tropical paradise cinematography support seeing the film on the big screen either when it opens in New York and Los Angeles on March 1 2019 or when it hits an art-house theater near you.
Not releasing "Extinction" in 4K if and when it become available in physical media is a misdemeanor; having watched a Blu-ray screener allows declaring that not releasing it in that format is a felony.
"Sharkwater" effectively communicates its message that sharks desperately need our help; the out-of-the-blue (no pun intended) ending is as shocking as the surprise last-minute-reveal in the best-made blockbuster,
Charming and articulate Stewart has the right stuff if only due to his Australian heritage and Canadian background. This alone makes him a great spokesperson for the titular creatures whom most us of view as vicious killers, and whom our host considers the bunnies of the sea. The mid-70s cartoon "Jabberjaw" with a friendly animated shark also promotes that image.
The following YouTube clip of a nearly five-minute Kickstarter video for "Extinction" fairly comprehensively lays out the film and the related literal life's work of Stewart. This short alone will make you a convert to the cause,
Stewart achieves the ideal documentary blend of entertainment and education from the opening minutes of "Extinction." We see him underwater accompanied by narration about a prior diving mishap. We next learn about his encounter with a shark when he is nine that sets him on his life quest, Images during the closing credits show him and his aquatic childhood pets.
Stewart then discusses his 2008 film "Sharkwater" that makes great strides outlawing a particularly brutal practice involving sharks. We learn that shark-fin soup being a delicacy in China is behind capturing sharks, cutting their fins off, and dumping the rest of their dead bodies in the sea.
Moving forward to September 2016, Stewart presents evidence that the then-new president of Colombia tacitly allows the aforementioned killing of sharks. This sets the stage for low-key sensationalism; we see Stewart and a colleague covertly film a crew with a large quantity of shark fins. We further learn that a "respectable businessman" owns that operation.
The "bunny element" largely enters the picture in the form of footage depicting Stewart swimming with docile sharks and of him petting one that presses against him. We also see our host befriend a rare-breed of shark. The context in which these images are presented include that the human population would be much smaller if public opinion about sharks was accurate.
The scene leading up to the aforementioned climax has Stewart excitedly discussing a new diving system that allows staying underwater for hours and that does not generate bubbles that alarm sharks. We next see the Coast Guard descend on the boat of Stewart in a manner that suggests that his filming has attracted negative attention, This leads to the surprising reveal,
The broad impact of all this relates to Stewart not only having a strong passion for protecting sharks but his ability to effectively promote his cause. Any sensationalism is minimal, and he does not seem to edit his footage in a misleading manner. Very few of us will test the theory that sharks enjoy snuggling, but we have a heightened awareness that will prompt advocacy.