Racing Extinction online movie review - A Completely Dishonest Documentary (as The Cove was BTW)
A documentary is supposed to document and inform but this film it is just the opposite of what a documentary should be.
Instead of focusing on one aspect, the documentary goes in circle presenting all the ways we as humans are managing to destroy the Earth's ecosystem. It presents points already made by several other documentaries but without stating anything new.
It presents some valid points about what's wrong with the way we treat animals, and how we have screwed up at a global scale, but when it comes to point fingers at actual people, they prefer to blame some remote village of Indonesia where people hunt manta rays in order to survive as they find it difficult to grow plants in there. The message seems to be: the world is screwed but let's start fixing it by ruining some countryside people's livelihood. Killing manta rays is wrong, they are cute, they are innocent, but leaving people starve and live in poor conditions, that's fine. Who cares?
In the same village, they show these fishermen going out fishing on their little boat, struggling to catch the manta, doing everything with their bare hands, and audience is supposed to feel sad? The commentator even tries to convince us that we should be disgusted by the fact that the fisherman kills the manta by sticking a long knife in its brain. Perhaps, for the wealthy western commentator, it is easier just to walk in the supermarket, buy his plastic-packaged minced meat of an animal that he never saw alive, doesn't know in what miserable conditions it lived and doesn't even know how it was killed. That hunting scene actually just makes one respecting more these fishermen.
Shall we talk about the white guy that saves a poor manta ray caught into a fishnet or something? Oh yes, he is the big hero. So cheesy. Cheesy as the director being interviewed and crying in front of the camera. Actually that's not cheesy, that's just dishonest. I don't doubt that he was crying for real, but you are the director of the film for god sake. You should be honest enough to leave that part out.
Why this kind of activist documentaries are always one sided? They find all the possible western people to interview to support their statement, but they cannot get some Asian experts to stand up for the poor people?
If killing whales and dolphins is wrong, why before traveling to the East, they don't travel within the USA (Alaska for example) or Northern Europe? Perhaps because they speak English, are well educated, and it is going to be more difficult to sell their dishonest activism?
When it comes to criticize the western society, they use some stock footage or they leave it to the commentator to describe how bad the western world is. But when it's about China or Indonesia, they use cheap tricks of hidden cameras to film poor and uneducated people that obviously don't have the ability to defend themselves with words as they are not able to debate and express their point of view with clarity. Why they don't go bother the big western corporations with hidden cameras and annoying interviews?
In fact, why they don't even bother dubbing the interviewed Asian people but leave it to unreadable white subtitles on white background?
Towards the end, the documentary turns out to be just an advertisement campaign for Tesla cars. And be clear, I support Tesla and would love to own one, but it just felt like Tesla came out of the blue. There was no point to put it in the film in my opinion.
Environmental activism is a good thing. Especially with the filmmaking support. But when one does it with intellectual dishonesty, it does more harm than good.