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4.7 out of 5 stars
Sharkwater [DVD] [2006]
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Beautiful, moving, agonising, inspiring, horrific...

A simply fantastic piece of film making exposing the cruelty with which we exploit the oceans and one of our most spectacular and misunderstood animals, highlighting the apparent inevitability of the demise of the shark and the fact that it is us that will pay the ultimate price.

Beautifully shot in HD with fantastic underwater sequences interspersed with upsetting footage of our abuse of these graceful creatures. Wonderful sound track, great editing and a gripping story will keep you on the edge of your seat and change your view of these creatures and, perhaps, of the way we abuse the sea.

This is not a Blue Planet. It is a conservation film rather than a natural history documentary so expect to listen as well as watch.

Blu-Ray is well worth having, but buy it anyway even in "normal" definition.

As important as "An Inconvenient Truth". A must have film.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on 27 March 2008
This is a must see documentary and is so much more than a documentary.
I was fortunate to see this movie whilst on holiday in the US. It is the most amazing film I have ever seen, I don't think I been so affected by a film, nor has a film ever compelled me to get out there and do something to help like this film did. I am in total awe of what Rob has achieved with Sharkwater and hopeful that this is the beginning of an amazing crusade to save the sharks.
This was the most beautifully shot piece of cinematography I have ever had the fortune to watch. Even so, this beauty was nothing compared to the utterly tragic and desperately moving discoveries the film documented. Rob Stewart cannot be thanked and praised enough for this film and it marks the beginning of something crucial. This must be stopped and this film is what is needed to educate and amaze people. I cannot wait to watch it again and encourage everyone I know to watch it. It literally changes you

Congratulations to you Rob and to all your colleagues. I would urge EVERYONE to buythis movie and I will certainly be encouraging all of my friends to do so.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 7 March 2010
I found this dvd shocking as I did not know that sharks were under such extreme threat from us. The shark fin industry is a multi-billion dollar business, most of it being fuelled by Asia. I simply did not know how much chaos this industry has created for sharks, and the only 2 save havens left for sharks in the world are not even safe. I was impressed by the guy on this dvd who fights to save the sharks from all the over-fishing and was amazed by the lengths he was willing to go to to try and protect the sharks, often in vain unfortunately. He gets arrested and well as gets on the wrong side of different mafias who are often involved with the illegal fishing in Galapagos and Costa Rica. It seems like he is often fighting a losing battle but never gives up and risks his life and freedom to try and save the sharks from the mass slaughter. It is disturbing to watch some of the scenes as they show fisherman cutting the fins and tails off of sharks then throwing them overboard to sink to the bottom and drown. It makes humans look like savages with no feeling or emapthy for other living beings. It really is horrendous! I would recommend this to anyone who likes to know the issues of the animal world and seeks the truth instead of hiding from it. A really well made documentary.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 2 December 2010
"Sharkwater" is a fascinating Canadian documentary featuring the scuba diver Rob Stewart and the controversial environmentalist activist Paul Watson, the leader of the Sea Shepherd organization. Together, Stewart and Watson want to save - wait for it - the sharks!

I've heard of people who want to save whales or dolphins, but this is the first time I encounter people who actually want to save sharks. I didn't even know sharks were particularly threatened. Shark the hunter, man the hunted, right?

Not so, according to "Sharkwater". 90% of the shark population is already gone, and several species are threatened with extinction, including the peaceful whale shark (the world's largest fish). The documentary even claims that the complete extinction of sharks might affect the global climate, since shark predation stops other fish from overconsuming plankton. And plankton is necessary to keep the climate in balance.

I'm not sure if I buy that particular argument, or the claim that most sharks are pretty harmless to humans, but it's pretty clear from the documentary that all sharks are threatened by overfishing from the absurd shark finning industry. Conservations efforts are hampered by a variety of factors: shark fin soup and other shark-derived products are part of East Asian culture, the oceans are difficult to control, and many people don't like sharks anyway!

The most interesting part of "Sharkwater" features Paul Watson and his notorious activist group Sea Shepherd. I've heard of Sea Shepherd already 25 years ago, when they were literally attacking whaling ships in Iceland and Norway. Sea Shepherd has always been considered a dangerous extremist group.

Or so I imagined.

In "Sharkwater", Sea Shepherd is actually invited by the president of Costa Rica to protect the Cocos Island from poachers. However, as Watson and his ship approaches Costa Rica, something goes dangerously wrong. The local authorities in the coastal town of Puntarenas suddenly turn coat and start prosecuting Sea Shepherd, placing the entire crew in house arrest! Stewart goes AWOL and soon discovers what's going on: the Taiwanese mafia controls large and illegal shark finning facilities in the town, complete with secret ports. Here we have another and more disturbing reason why conservation efforts fail: sheer corruption. The mobsters presumably bought off the courts in Puntarenas, making sure they turn against Sea Shepherd.

Watson, Stewart and the other activists see no other choice than to leave Costa Rica as fast as possible, which they also manage to do under dramatic circumstances, the Sea Shepherd ship being chased by the coast guard. Instead, they set sail to the Galapagos Island, where they are on friendly terms with the local authorities (!). Undaunted, Stewart decides to go back to Costa Rica in secret, and even sneeks into Puntarenas where the people have started to protest against the Taiwanese mafia and their illegal activities. Taking advantage of the chaos, Stewart finally manages to visit the elusive Cocos Island, where he can be alone with his beloved sharks...

"Sharkwater" does get a bit too romantic for my taste at times, but it's nevertheless one of the best documentaries I've ever seen. Indeed, it often comes close to being an adventure or action movie. To some extent, it's also a propaganda movie for the Sea Shepherd organization. Indeed, this is the film's weakest point, since Paul Watson turns out to be a misanthrope who apparently thinks sharks are better than primates (i.e. us). Perhaps when the sharks are safe and sound, we could feed this man to them? Still, I admit that these guys and their chases make great television!

Five stars.

Five stars.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 9 November 2008
A well presented, part natural history, part conservation documentary with some excellent underwater filmwork.
Much of it filmed around Costa Rica and the Galapagos Islands.

While watching this it was easy to think 'greedy/ignorant/cruel shark finning, foreign fishermen'.
But after a bit of further investigation, a quick check on the BBC news reveals:
"The UK is one of only five EU member states that issue special permits to allow the removal of fins at sea under the EU finning ban"
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 17 September 2010
This is some of the best documentary I have ever - I mean ever - seen. And I guess after spending up to 1.000 Euros on documentarys alone(most of them from the UK), that statement should count for something.
I am also an avid diver and did some underwatervideos. So I like to believe I recognize a true master of this genre.

At the age of 22 Rob convinced a production company to give him 300.000 $ to his disposal. For four years Stewart worked on his own first production - Sharkwater. He is Director, he wrote the script, coordinated camerawork and the cut. Sharkwater (2007) has gone on to become the most award-winning documentary of the year, winning over 30 awards at the most prestigious film festivals around the world. Stewart's hardcover book, Sharkwater: An Odyssey to Save the Planet was released in October 2007 by Key Porter Books. Sharkwater (2007) made history with the largest opening weekend of any Canadian documentary and the third largest opening weekend of a documentary in Canadian history

Stewart's award-winning library of underwater motion and still images has been sought out by some of the most popular and well-respected media companies around the globe, from BBC Wildlife, Discovery Channel, ABC, Asian Diver, Entertainment Tonight and various GEO magazines. And in this production you can see a genius at work.
That alone would make it a very good documentary. But it doesn't end here. It has a great story to tell and a great message that gives you goosebumps.
I was captivated and suspended in awe until the very last second.

Get it - enjoy it - show it to your kids - tell your friends about it.

This is documentary at it's very best.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 24 October 2008
Not only is this a great HD movie with amazing shots, but it's a thought provoking eye opening must see. This is not just your regular nature documentary, it's a view into the whole world of sharks, and some of the practices still happening today. See for yourself and make up your own mind, but whatever your feelings I urge you to watch this movie.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on 31 March 2008
Sharkwater is an epic in the truest sense of the word. The blurb says it took four years to film across more than 15 countries. Clearly lots of efforts, but the results more than match up! Sharkwater contains scene after scene of stunning underwater imagery of Sharks and marine ecosystems, intelligently highlighting the danger our modern lifestyles are placing upon them. If you liked Blue Planet, this will be right up your street!

It really is an incredible watch and is suited to all audiences from school age up. Like other reviewers I will certainly be encouraging me firends to purchase the DVD as well! Great score as well including Portishead and Nina Simone! :)
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 10 June 2008
Even who lives close to where some of sharkwater was filmed had no idea.
it is eye opening and urgently needed to be seen by all.
WATCH IT! It is about OUR survival!!!!
We need to become conscious of what is happening.
Tell as many people as you can.
Thank you to Rob Stewart.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
This film is a must see - it will open your eyes to the world of sharks - often shunned by the media - to show these truly majestic fish and the important role they play in our oceans - they are the top predators and so, the rulers of the ocean.
The footage is absolutely stunning on both a positive and a negative side - it highlights the Shark fin trade - so it is too, an educational lesson as well as a fantastic film!
I'd highly recommend this to all!
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