Research paper on Film Diary
Directed by Jeff Orlowski
“Chasing Ice” by Jeff Orlowski is an attempt to cover the efforts of James Balog (scientist) and his team members during an Extreme Ice Survey. The movie was shot in May, 2008 at Ilulissat Glacier in Western Greenland just before the shedding of might Ice Mountains into mere ice sheets. The documentary involves James Balog as a photographer who is passionate in providing the evidences of global warming. His latest attempt involved monitoring the glacial erosion by capturing the descending Arctic cliff that is about to erode. The interesting thing shown in the movie is the breathtaking images that are created by Orlowski and Balog through cameras and framing. The cameras captured the massive shear off of the ice sheets created by mighty glaciers after erosion.
James Balog has been capturing the melting of Arctic Ice since 2007 by using his time-lapse photography during his project called Extreme Ice Survey. The main aim of Balog as per depicted in the movie is to provide a visual evidence of the global warming and havoc of the greenhouse gas emissions that is wreaking on Earth’s surface. The EIS project has captured millions of photographs including time-lapse shots of massive ice bergs collapsing and a collecting of a single frame set of pictures showing the art and architecture of the ice.
The documentary shows the glaciers ebbing from big ice mountains and ends up in exposing the rocks that they rested on. The documentary showed the largest witnessed calving event ever got on tape that lasted for 75 minutes. The scale of the calving event captured in “Chasing Ice” can be understood by this dialogue:
“Putting it in scale with human reference: Imagine Manhattan and all of a sudden all of the building just start to rumble and crack and peel off and just fall over and over and roll around. This whole massive city just breaking apart in front of your eyes”
An overview of the climate change was also given by the documentary as it cut away from the main story. The documentary tend to form links between species endangerment, climate disruption, forest fires, rising sea levels, weather related disasters and climate disruption. The documentary is a successful reference primer for the ones who does not have any clue about what is going on with the climate due to global warming. The documentary is much about the human nature and the drama behind Extreme Ice Survey (EIS) where the director wanted to capture the challenges and risks that Balog and his team has been taking to successfully complete the EIS. The documentary has also captured the first major setback of Balog and his team when on return from a project, many of the cameras were destroyed by the extreme weather and few of them were not able to take any photos. All of the efforts are faithfully recorded by Orlowski in the Chasing Ice.
Directed by Kip Anderson and Keegan Kuhn
Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret is a documentary film that was directed and shot in 2014 in an effort to explore the biggest hidden sector that is triggering the global warming at much faster level. The film tends to explore the impact of cattle reproduction and animal agriculture industry on the environment. The basic question that the two film makers have asked in the documentary is why the impact of livestock production on environment is missing from the world’s whole environmental concern agenda. The film follows an interview style where environmental leaders and other researchers are interviewed to find answer to this question. Bruce Hamilton (Deputy Executive Director of Sierra Club) while an interview in the documentary reveals that we are nearly touching 400 part per million of carbon dioxide and greenhouse gas emission that is well above than the scientist’s given limitation of 350 part per million of carbon dioxide and greenhouse gas emission. The reason being given in the documentary is over production of cattle by the animal agriculturists and the policy makers and politicians are too scared to talk about this massive industry.
The documentary reveals that Cattle production emits 18% of the greenhouse gas as compared to emission of 13% greenhouse gasses by cars, trucks, trains, boats and airplanes combined
The documentary is a shocking revelation of how livestock industries are camouflaging the truth for fulfilling their own monetary desires. The methane gas produced by the digestive system of cattle is 25 to a 100 times more destructive as compared to the carbon dioxide emitted by the transports. The documentary reveals that let alone the livestock industry, is the leading cause of global warming, water depletion, deforestation, and species extinction and ocean dead zones. The documentary has made some revelations that are brutally inconvenient for many of the viewers. Few of the facts are summarized by Demosthenes Maratos (Sustainability Institute at Molloy College) in the documentary as:
“Livestock production is the single largest contributor to every environmental ill known to human kind; deforestation, land use, water scarcity, the destabilization of communities, world hunger, the list doesn’t stop. It’s an environmental disaster that is being ignored by the very people who should be championing”
The documentary highlights shocking facts about water consumption in livestock industry for raising cattle. According to the documentary, raising livestock in United States (alone) consumes 34 trillion gallons of water per year. Another dreadful fact raised by Anderson and Kuhn is that one quarter pound hamburger requires over 660 gallons of water to produce that is equivalent to water consumed for taking showers for two consecutive months.
In the documentary, it is highlighted that according to World Bank Report on Analysis of Human Induced Greenhouse Gasses in 2009, animal agriculture was not responsible for stated 18% of the total greenhouse gas emission but it was actually responsible for 51% of all greenhouse gasses as compared to 13% of the transportation. This makes animal agriculture as the top most contributor to the human caused climate change.
Directed by Dena Seidal
The documentary was released in 2015 taking the viewers through a voyage of Antarctic filled with thrill, drama and adventure. The documentary kicks off with a quote as “May 2014: Scientists Declare West Antarctic Ice Sheet Melt Unstoppable” after which the journey to Antarctic begins with a crew of researchers. The documentary stars Oscar Schofield (New Jersey Based Oceanographer) and a group of 22 world class researchers who are set to analyze the process of climate change in West Antarctic Peninsula which is known as the fasted winter-warming place on earth. The research conducted in the film is at three main places i.e. Palmer Station, Charcot Island and Avian Island. The documentary is filmed in the perilous environments that posed huge risks and many difficulties for Schofield and his team for bringing out the stunning landscapes and seascapes of the Earth’s southern polar region. The documentary has faithfully captured the tiring efforts of Schofield and his team members and the challenges endured by them for months at a time (see picture below).
The documentary provides productive knowledge on Antarctica, the flora and fauna and its overall role in analyzing the climate change. The group of 22 researchers is made up of marine biologists, oceanographers, chemists, ecologists, geologists and chemists who carried on a team work throughout the whole journey to Antarctic Edge while collecting the data at several stopping points. The documentary shows the challenges like equipment failures, uncertainties in weather conditions and other unanticipated and unexpected problems during their voyage to discovering the climate change in Antarctic Edge. Oscar Schofield revealed that during the first cruise voyage the whole team was stuck in the ice for an entire month without any mobilization.
The movie shows the scientists and researchers exploring the area of Charcot Island at 70 degrees in South Latitude posing danger of running aground. The issue of climate change is highlighted in the documentary where every aspect of environmental chain is touched including flora, fauna and sea animal’s life. The movie includes a good amount of animal footage where measurements on the declining population of Adelie Penguins is taken. The depth of movie can be understood by analyzing the statement given by one of the researcher in the movie as:
“We have seen Peninsulas turn into Islands, Islands pop out from under glaciers and we have seen radical changes in the sea bird populations – It’s not just a localized issue, it’s a World Issue”
One of the shocking revelation in the documentary is made in the point that the number of days during which ice covers the coast annually at Southern Pole region has reduced by 90 since the research and record keeping began. Whereas, the average temperature in Antarctica has also risen by 110 F in the past 50 years. A very informative chunk of knowledge provided by the film is the carbon cycle of Southern Ocean that explains the importance of research done by the researchers at that point.
The documentary is a successful collaboration between marine science and the film making group of individuals at Rutgers University and shows the vivid evidence of how ice at the South Pole region is shrinking and causing negative impact on the climate across the globe. Antarctic Edge shows the vast beauty of Southern Continent and the animal life along with their unique characteristics and qualities. The documentary successfully filmed the change in habitats of animals that is caused due to climate change in Southern Continent. One of the researcher reveals that due to climate changes, the penguins living at the area were unlikely to make it to the first winter. Concepts like food web and explanation of climate change phenomena is also well explained in the parts of film.
Directed by Environmental Justice Foundation
The documentary is based on brutality, trafficking and murdering of human for slavery at seas in order to catch fish. The documentary is an evidence of Thailand being plagued with trafficking, bonding, forced labor and slavery in its fishing sector. All the men interviewed in the film escaped from vessels owned and operated by a famous Boonlarp Fishing Partnership Ltd. The company was formed in 2013 and involved into massive human trafficking, forced slavery and murder. The documentary claims that each day of investigation at Boonlarp Fishing location highlighted the brutal murder of many workers whose bodies were used to be weigh down with chains and dumped in the river later on.
The short documentary is directed by EJ Foundation with an aim of making public aware of slavery, pirate fishing and other serious crimes that are taking place in Thailand’s seafood sector. The documentary reveals the interviews taken from different slaves who ran out from Boonlarp Fishing in order to save their lives. One of the interviewee states that
“What I want to say is that if you buy and eat Thai Seafood, know that the fish comes at the expense of our exploitation. We have wasted our lives”
The documentary has unlocked the whole organization structure by claiming that Boonlarp’s security guard named as Bae Kyan Kyi is the chief enforcer who is given right to brutally treat the workers or even kill them when needed. The documentary unveiled the whole process through which Boonlarp catches fish illegally at the remote areas at night after which the cargo is loaded on the mother ship which then unloads the fish at the port. The fish that is unhealthy for human consumption is minced up and packed into sacks to be distributed as a livestock feed, fertilizers and to shrimp farms around the country. Around 8 tonnes of white gold fish is used for producing a single ton of shrimp which is alarming. As one of the largest suppliers of shrimp, the Thailand industry is worth billions of dollars annually.
The documentary shows clips of the security guard as well as owner of Boonlarp Fishing Partnership Ltd. named as Sompon Jirotmontree, recorded in hidden cameras. All the men interviewed in the film have previously escaped from the ships owned by Jirotmontree. According to the documentary, Mr. Jiromontree filled up his pockets with profits by using trafficking and slavery and illegally capturing fish. The documentary also shows that the trafficking and slavery is done under the supervision of corrupt officials. The evidence is shown in the movie in the form of vessel owned by Boonlarp Fishing Partnership Ltd. that left the port unchallenged after detailed and thorough inspection of 25 minutes arising from UN initiative for combatting trafficking. The effort primarily failed due to non-presence of translators at the port. A shocking testament is also given in the documentary where one of the escaper told EJF that police was also involved in trafficking as they were offered money to bring the escapers back to piers.
The whole documentary is an effort to unveil the brutal, violent and illegal practices taking place in fishing industry of Thailand. Appreciable work is done by EJF by making this documentary and pleading the government to take some step in order to eradicate such ill practices being carried out by the main industry in Thailand. The documentary ends up with an appeal to Thai Government for taking serious steps in order to exterminate environmental destruction coupled with a plea to retailers for doing business with only those suppliers who can guarantee their supply chain to be free of slavery.