Filmmaker Ron Colby reveals the good, the bad, the ugly, and, ultimately, the hugely impressive warrior in Watson. Colby balances sedate interviews with film of bloodily mutilated sharks, sliced nearly in half, trying to swim away from the boats after their fins were hacked off for sale to Asia as a "delicacy." To appeal to the intellect, Colby weaves in old clips of the kinds of arguments Watson hears from his adversaries. "What gives you the right?" sputters an angry fisherman. Watson replies calmly and efficiently, "The United Nations Charter for Nature," signed by most of the countries farming the oceans.
Colby structures the film like a good Hollywood blockbuster, building to chase scenes of heart-stopping intensity. But the realities are here for all to see, too—including bleeding, pleading, battered seals being dragged across the ice and away from their fully observant families. As the various nations argue for their causes—the Japanese for "research," the Chinese for "health," the Costa Ricans for "feeding the starving"—Watson points to the bigger picture of oceans on the verge of complete ecosystem collapse that could mark an end to everyone's agendas.
"Pirate for the Sea" is a forceful documentary. It's a shame Watson doesn't have Al Gore's name-recognition. Perhaps this film will start him on his way.
Filmmaker: Ron Colby