Sheffield Doc/Fest Review: Chasing Coral

With the US pulling out of the Paris accord and the general antipathy of the new Administration to environmental issues, the future of our planet looks bleak. However, with the advancements in new clean technologies, there’s still a ray of hope. In his last film, Chasing Ice, director Jeff Orlowski demonstrated the power of visualisation; charting the destruction of the glaciers by global warming. In Chasing Coral, he takes to the oceans to highlight the severe plight of an entire ecosystem.

Richard Vevers gave up a career in advertising to become an underwater photographer. He’s transfixed with the beauty and diversity of the underwater world. However, he starts to notice something odd happening to the coral. It appears to be bleaching. He discovers that sea temperatures are rising rapidly, killing off coral beds. Along with self-professed ‘coral nerd’ Zack and the film team, he sets out to document this change.

Chasing Coral is a quite frankly scary look at the damage climate change is causing to an entire eco-system. It’s hard to underestimate the importance of this film. The visual representation of the death of coral beds is frightening. The fact it’s happening so quickly is terrifying. The ‘trick’ with documentaries like Chasing Coral is to present the facts in a simple, yet entertaining, way. The team do this with aplomb. Zack is a charismatic and dedicated spokesperson and some of the photography is absolutely captivating.

Chasing Coral comes to Netflix on July 14.

Previous Sheffield Doc/Fest Review: Unrest
Next Sheffield Doc/Fest Review: City of Ghosts

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