“Our oceans are the reason we’re alive. They breathe for us and provide for us.” These words and their far reaching echo introduce the film. Viewers are flown over Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, a vision of vast blues and mixed hues, before descending into the home of more than 1500 species of coral and sea creatures. Throughout this carefully structured documentary, the call to action regarding the gravity of conditions in the Great Barrier Reef surfaces and resurfaces to establish the films purpose.
Directed, produced and narrated by environmental journalist Lin Sutherland, the film flows with a combination of personal experience, emotional story telling genius and heartbreaking images of the realities caused and affected by the unhealthy reef. Lin is a qualified diving instructor whose love for the reef began when she was a young girl. But early in her underwater journey, her eyes opened to a harsh reality. “My species was on a path to destruction and other forms of life were viewed as disposable income, an attitude that has changed the most important life source on the planet,” she says over vision of illegal fishing, bloody shark fins and tumour covered turtles.
Lin takes us from location to location, below the ocean and beyond the shore to meet with concerned specialists on climate change, reef health and animal welfare. With facts from leading scientists and environmental experts, viewers are guided to make connections between different ecosystems and life sources and the way their treatment determines Earth’s prosperity.
These connections are translated through enthralling drone footage of vast rain-forests and the realisations of their role as the kidneys of the Great Barrier Reef, coupled with quantitative revelations including the 45 million animals killed by tree clearing. Together with footage of foamy beaches and out of control storms, these connections represent the haunting veracity of climate change.
Beauty and the Reef was filmed over many years and was primarily self-funded by the Currumbin woman. The films ability to draw in local audiences comes from Lin’s decision to team up with eco-friendly, sustainable businesses that in effect, encourage all humans to take responsibility of ocean pollution, help raise awareness and inspire better environmental practices.
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