I saw two documentary films yesterday, each well over an hour long, each on important subjects. One was magnificent, although hard to watch at times; the other one was so boring I could hardly sit still.
Sharkwater, a documentary by Rob Stewart, told our roomful of documentary aficionados far more than we knew about sharks and entirely won us over to the enormous, pressing need to protect these very endangered animals (90% of their population has be destroyed in the last 10 years). The movie was the story of Rob Stewart's love of sharks and then his joining the fearless SEA SHEPHERD, with it's magnificent captain, Sam, whose full name I do not know, which patrols the open seas trying to protect endangered sea animals -- sharks in this case (apparently whales in other cases). Sharks are not vicious, they are shy about people, they are highly intelligent, they are the top predators in the ocean and without them the ecology of the ocean (which is not well understood) would be out of balance and could result in a lessening of the amount of oxygen generated by the ocean -- an amount absolutely necessary to life on the solid parts of Earth. Those are only a few of the facts I learned from the film.
Most disturbing is the huge predation of sharks simply for their fins for the market for shark fin soup in China. Once again (as with elephants an rhinocerses) that vast population of insecure people is wrecking havoc for the financial gain of a mafia-like business. There were extremely painful scenes in the movie. And it included an action novel like run in with the "bad guys" an the way they had paid off government officials who actually charge the Sea Shepherd and its crew, who (spoiler alert!) who found a time to make a run for freedom. As a documentary it was beautiful, highly informative, had highly admirable real life people. When the film was over the woman showing it was nearly in tears as she told us that Rob Steward has died.
The second film was Food Choices about, of course, the many compelling reasons to eat a plant-based diet. It presented some new information with one talking head after another, some of whom had boring voices, some not even very clearly enunciated, although I was gently reminded by my companion that only the speaker on the right side of the room was playing and that music obscured some of the voices. Yes, my hearing is not entirely perfect, but indeed I think the several experts who sat, unmoving in their various chairs, spoke unclearly. It was just plain boring. A long Q&A afterwards with the area's foremost MD-nutritionist was a little helpful and somewwhat repetitious
By the time I put my head down on a pillow I was overwhelmed with information and visuals and happy to turn off the brain entirely for a good night's sleep.
The mid-70s are a surprise! Part of me remains in the 50s -- age, I mean, not decade of 20th century. It's a joy ride, new experiences land in my lap and I've become a better quilter, poet, writer than I expected. It's a rich life for a person never rich financially. Hey, this is what the mid-70s are like!