If you’re in search of a first rate documentary to check out in theaters this month, Sea of Shadows should fit the bill. Directed by Richard Ladkani (The Ivory Game) and executive produced by Leonardo DiCaprio, the project focuses on the push to save the vaquita porpoise, an endangered whale species that resides near the Sea of Cortez.
Mexican drug cartels cast their nets in the vicinity to catch totoaba, a fish that is highly valuable in the Chinese market for its supposed medicinal purposes, and vaquita have become collateral damage in this illegal fishing. Ladkani approaches the subject from different vantage points, as we witness a group of scientists mounting an ambitious operation to save the vaquita. Broadcast journalist Carlos Loret De Mola is also prominently featured in the doc, as well as a non-profit conservation organization called Sea Shepherd.
Sea of Shadows is not your average talking head documentary, as it puts us right into the action of various missions to either expose an operation or patrol the ocean. Opening July 12, this project from National Geographic Documentary Films won the Sundance Audience Award.
Also covered on this episode of CinemAddicts are my reviews of Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love, The Farewell and Phil, a feature which marks Greg Kinnear’s directing debut. Take a listen below!