‘Sea of Shadows’ Review: Riveting Documentary Spotlights Endangered Vaquita Porpoise

Directed by Richard Ladkani (The Ivory Game), Sea of Shadows is a riveting documentary that, while providing much needed information about an endangered species, is also an immersive storytelling experience.

There are only 15 vaquita porpoises that survive on this world, and they reside near the Sea of Cortez. Fisherman have cast their nets into the surrounding ocean to catch totoaba, a fish whose swim bladders are valuable in the Chinese market. These nets end up catching other marine life in the area, including the vaquita. Every person in this totoaba chain are grabbing a profit, and it is imperative to put an end to this criminal operation.

Journalist Carlos Loret De Mola and Earth League International head Andrea Crosta are just two of the individuals who are determined to expose these traffickers. The documentary also spotlights the efforts of Dr. Cynthia Smith’s efforts to create a Laquita program that will ensure their safety and gradually increase their numbers. A non-profit organization called Sea Shepherd also add to these efforts, as they patrol the oceans to grab these illegal fishermen’s nets, placing their own lives in harm’s way.

These are just a few elements that are part of Sea of Shadows, and Ladkani could have easily made this a talking head documentary and still make it a worthwhile and informative viewing experience. Instead, he places his camera and crew right in the thick of the action, as we witness the efforts to save a vaquita as well as follow Crosta’s undercover mission to gain valuable intel from one of the traffickers. During the documentary’s final chapter we have a bird’s eye look at a riot that seemingly turned dangerous at a moment’s notice, and Ladkani was there to capture the moment.

It’s difficult to blend propulsive, arrestingly shot narratives while also providing audience members with intriguing information, but Sea of Shadows excels in both aspects. It’s a must see documentary from National Geographic, and one of the best films of this year.

Sea of Shadows, executive produced by Leonardo DiCaprio, opens nationwide July 12.

Find Us On Facebook: Hollywood Outbreak
Follow Us On Twitter: @Hollyoutbreak
Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi

Related articles

Comments

Share article

Latest articles

Gina Rodriguez Loved Going Retro, Scooby Style, For New Movie

When Gina Rodriguez was born, Scooby-Doo was already a cultural icon. Starting with the 1969 animated series and continuing through several movies, the scruffy...

‘I Still Believe’ Stars Built An On-Screen Marriage Based On Trust

I Still Believe, the biopic about Contemporary Christian artist Jeremy Camp, was a surprise hit earlier this year -- first in theaters, and then...

Tom Ellis: Fans Gave ‘Lucifer’ A 6th, 6th, 6th Season

Lucifer fans are happy as hell these days. Not only will they soon be getting a fifth season of the show on Netflix, but...

When Pandemic Took ‘AGT’ Out Of The Studio, Terry Crews Had To Adapt

Like so many other television shows, America's Got Talent has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. But while many shows have gone into an...

When ‘Roswell’ Worlds Collide: Nathan Dean & The Max Connection

When a TV show gets rebooted with some of the old roles now being played by new actors, it can be frustrating and intimidating...

New Trailers

Michael Pitt And Ron Perlman ‘Run With The Hunted’ In Highly Charged Trailer

Michael Pitt (Boardwalk Empire) and Ron Perlman (Sons of Anarchy) star in Run With The Hunted, a thriller that centers on Oscar (Pitt), a...

Kevin James Shaves Head And Ventures Down A Darker Path With ‘Becky’

Directed by Jonathan Milott and Cary Murnion, Becky features Lulu Wilson, a youth who spends the weekend with her father Jeff (Joel McHale), his...

Mel Gibson Takes On Criminals And Hurricane Season In ‘Force of Nature’ Trailer

Force of Nature, an action thriller starring Mel Gibson, Emile Hirsch and Kate Bosworth, hits Blu-ray and DVD on June 30. Directed by Michael...

Barbora Kysilkova Crafts An Eye Opening Portrait With ‘The Painter and the Thief’

Directed by Benjamin Ree, The Painter and The Thief centers on Barbora Kysilkova, a Czech artist who Karl-Bertil Nordland one of the people who...

John David Washington Explores Inversion In Thrilling ‘Tenet’ Trailer

A Christopher Nolan (Inception, Dunkirk) movie is always eagerly anticipated, as he's one of the rare filmmakers whose movies reach a wide audience and...