Engrossing documentary recounting the early days of Greenpeace, and a fascinating character study of the three main founders – Rob Hunter the writer/communicator, Patrick Moore the patrician scientist and Paul Watson the hardline activist who went on to found Sea Shepherd. Watson might be the world’s highest-profile anti-whaler, but it was Hunter who decided that saving whales was the ‘mind bomb’ that would ignite the environmental movement. Richard Nixon had outsmarted their early attempt to disrupt a nuclear test in the Bering Strait by postponing it until he could get rid of these pesky Canadians, who tried to wait him out on their crappy old boat in an abandoned Alaskan whaling station, where the US coastguard found them. They had to leave US waters, but Hunter had his inspiration. Fascinating to be reminded that back then, in the early 70s, even his fellow eco-warriors wondered what on earth whales had to do with their mission to save the world.
Right from the start Greenpeace meticulously documented their activities, and there was vision aplenty for the filmmakers to tell their story with. Be warned though: the footage of whale and baby seal slaughter is revolting and distressing. Which is why they took it in the first place.
This review was first posted to Facebook on 24.9.15