Political film series continues at WLU

This past Thursday, the documentary End of the Line was featured as the second installment in the Cinema Politica series.

Dedicated to screening films with political components, Cinema Politica’s Kitchener-Waterloo chapter is coordinated by professors Derek Hall and Tanya Richardson of the political science and anthropology departments respectively.

“We’ve been really pleased so far with the turn out at the movies. It’s great to see students coming out and watching the films, especially with what’s now become a difficult part of the year,” explains Hall.

End of the Line is a British documentary that reveals the devastating realities of overfishing in our oceans today.

The documentary begins by investigating how many of the most common fish species are embracing endangerment, drawing context to the Newfoundland cod fishing disaster in the early 1990s.

Once celebrated as the most abundant source of cod in the world, the exploitation of the cod populations led to its collapse in 1992.

The film touches on a variety of themes, primarily that the blame for the decimation of the fish population is shared among consumers, fishermen and politicians.

All three actors play an integral role in declining catch rates, whether it be the casual consumption of endangered seafood, breaking fishing laws or endorsing neglectful policies.

Due to declining annual catch rates, scientists have estimated that as early as 2003 about a third of fishing populations were in what has been referred to as a “collapsed state.” By 2048, it is estimated most seafood populations will be completely unrecoverable.

The film was based on the book of the same name written by Charles Clover. Clover is an investigative journalist who is featured in the film, challenging politicians and popular restaurants on their attitudes towards the damages they are causing to the global fish populations.

End of the Line convincingly portrays the urgency of overfishing while maintaining a sense of intrigue with vibrant underwater shots in the waters of Alaska, Malta, Senegal and the Bahamas.

The documentary is narrated by Ted Danson, a recognized campaigner for ocean conservation.

“Some of these issues are a bit more complicated. Especially with this sort of documentary that’s aimed at a feature audience, they’re trying to engage with as many people as possible. You want it to be accessible and clearly argued and they did a good job of that while keeping things fair and accurate,” added Hall.

In September, Cinema Politica experienced similar success with the viewing of Please Vote For Me, a documentary featuring the democratic election of a class monitor in a primary school in Wuhan, China.

Hall continued to say that he and Richardson “have really enjoyed the two movies.”

He concluded, “We have been very impressed with what we’ve shown so far. We’ve felt that they were both really terrific documentaries and liked the contrast between the styles of the two films.”

The next screening is a documentary entitled H2Oil, which explores the cost and controversy of producing crude oil in the Alberta tar sands.

It debuts Nov. 11 at 7:00pm in Arts 1E1.