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CHASING ICE

BLACKFISH

The Emmy-award winning film Chasing Ice displays

This highly acclaimed documentary examines the

the effects of climate change using more than just

dark side of Sea World and the devastating psycho-

The Waves team shares its top five must-see documentaries

shocking statistics, numbers and graphs. The

logical effects that captivity has on intelligent crea-

visually stunning documentary follows the efforts

tures, namely the orca whale. The film investigates

of environmental photographer James Balog as he

the death of Sea World trainer Dawn Brancheau, who

conducts his “extreme ice survey” across the pristine

was killed by Tilikum, a captive orca whale, in 2010,

BY ARIC SLEEPER

obstacles in the inhospitable terrain.

180 DEGREES SOUTH

BAG IT

DAMNATION

Inspired by footage of the original “dirt bag climbers”

Bag It follows Jeb Berrier, an “average guy” from a small Colorado town who pledges to stop using plastic shopping bags in his own home, but soon realizes that shopping bags are the tip of a much larger problem. Teaming up with environmental researchers, Berrier traces the history of the ubiquitous material from its creation to its devastating environmental impacts in the present. Although the facts presented in the film are deadly serious, the film is presented in a lighthearted way, and ends with a message of hope.

The necessity and value of dams across the

Doug Tompkins and Yvon Chouinard’s 1968 road trip from Ventura, Calif. to Patagonia, Chile, amateur adventurer Jeff Johnson and a varied crew of traveling companions attempt to make the same arduous trek by sea. The film does more than document the band of adventurers as they sail down the coast, it examines the philosophy of adventure itself, and serves as a reminder that the quest is far more important than the destination.

landscapes of the Arctic. Using time-lapse photogra-

and a number of other frightening incidents. Blackfish

phy, Balog and his team reveal the undisputed effects

reveals the questionable methods of capturing and

of the warming planet, and run into more than a few

training orcas for human enjoyment.

United States are brought into question in this 2014 documentary. The film explores the impacts that dammed rivers have on wildlife like salmon, and follows the political movements to remove these structures, once viewed as marvelous feats of human ingenuity. Since its release, the film has spurred its own grassroots campaign to tear down a series of dams on Wyoming’s lower Snake River, and inspired governments worldwide to tear down a number of “deadbeat dams.”

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Santa Cruz Waves Aug/Sept 2015 Issue 2.2  
Santa Cruz Waves Aug/Sept 2015 Issue 2.2  
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