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Atlantic: Humanist doc explores cost of international fishing agreements

Atlantic is one-sided, with no voice given to the politicians who balance big and small interests, but the overall message is well delivered.

3 out of 4 stars

Written by
Angela Antle
Directed by
Risteard O´Domhnaill

The oceans giveth and the oceans take away, as we saw all too well with the recent offshore actioner Deepwater Horizon. Where that blockbuster dramatized an oil-rig disaster in widescreen ways, the sea-sprayed documentary Atlantic (which screens Sunday as part of the Planet in Focus Environmental Film Festival) is explosive in a more subtle way. The Irish director Risteard O'Domhnaill makes a case for the small communities and fishermen who depend on the bounty of the Atlantic in Norway, Newfoundland and Ireland for their livelihood. Against a poignant Celtic music soundtrack, O'Domhnaill shows the damage done by seismic shootings, secretive supertrawlers and high-up political deal making – the fiddler must be paid, and more often it is the small coastal traditions and salt-water ways of life that suffer the cost of international fishing agreements and the drill-baby-drill mentality of oil-and-gas concerns. The humanist doc is one-sided, with no voice given to the politicians who balance big and small interests, but the overall message of short-term economic gain versus long-term sustainability is well delivered (if obvious).

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About the Author

Brad Wheeler is an arts reporter with The Globe and Mail. More


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