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The horrors of the "shark-fin mafia"
By BRETT MICHEL  |  October 31, 2007
2.5 2.5 Stars
MISUNDERSTOOD: Gentle giants in glorious high-definition.

Hubert Sauper’s cautionary documentary Darwin’s Nightmare (2004) dealt with ecological disaster as a direct result of globalization. Canadian biologist Rob Stewart would like to expose the horrors perpetrated by the “shark-fin mafia” and the various governments making billions from illegal shark poaching that has reduced the sea’s shark population by 90 percent. With media depictions of these man-eating monsters breeding hatred and fear (hello, Jaws!), who would miss them? Stewart, for one. The director makes a convincing case for the redemption of these misunderstood gentle giants, swimming among them in glorious high-definition footage, and backing up his thesis with statistics that are hard to ignore. But he sinks his picture by making himself the central figure. Sauper would have recognized conservationist Paul Watson as a stronger subject; Watson is briefly shown here clashing with pirates, only to be sued for doing so.
Related: Surf's Up, Smokin' Aces, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, More more >
  Topics: Reviews , Nature and the Environment, Wildlife, Marine Animals
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 See all articles by: BRETT MICHEL