| 3 Stars (Out of Four)
This giant-screen documentary captures the massive feeding frenzy that takes place each year off the Wild Coast of South Africa. Billions of migrating cold water sardines trigger an epic underwater struggle for survival. Tropical predators at the top of the food chain compete with man for this valuable source of protein.
The breathtaking cinematography is aided by the clear blue waters, which yield up-close views of seals, dolphins, sharks and humpback whales.
It is fascinating to observe the different swimming motions of these underwater inhabitants. Gigantic schools of fish form a bait bowl that rolls through the water. Large seabirds with snow-white bodies and black tails sound like miniature torpedoes as they dive into the water.
Aerial photography provides various camera angles of mountainous rock formations and a waterfall. The symphonic musical score adds a sense of wonder to the proceedings.
The movie’s only faux pas was choosing native John Kani as narrator. His distinctive accent makes his remarks difficult to understand for untrained American ears.
The film promotes an important conservation message. It advocates the concept of marine reserves similar to the land preserves where hunting is off limits. South Africa currently protects 20 percent of its coastline from intrusion by fishermen.
This inspirational movie offers hope that the delicate balance of the ocean’s ecosystem can be restored. The subject matter is palatable for younger viewers since no red blood is visible during the predatory onslaught.
The filmmakers’ previous undertakings include the international sensation “STOMP” and the award-winning large-format film “Pulse: a STOMP Odyssey.”
Special 3D glasses which come in adult and child sizes are provided. Now playing exclusively at the Extreme Screen inside Union Station.
Keith Cohen, "The Movie Guy"