Chasing Coral by Jeff Orlowski [8/10]

Chasing Coral” is a stunning visual documentary of the imminent extirpation of Earth’s coral reefs due to global warming. Documentary maker Jeff Orlowski sets out to portray, using some of the most brilliant visual cinematography I have ever seen, the efforts of some undersea photographers to observe in real time the savage 2016 bleaching. The first half of the film revolves around Richard Vevers, advertising exec turned underwater chronicler and the second half turns on another team that includes an engaging young enthusiast Zack Rago. Real-time drama hits the photographers when in situ cameras can’t deliver, and tension escalates as a team moves here and there on the Australian coastline, searching for “as it happens right now” coral bleaching. Emotional yet informative interviews with leading coral experts, including legendary Charlie Veron (whom I’d happened to had the honor to see and hear in a Melbourne conference a few weeks earlier), round out a rousing tale expertly conjured together. Watch, viewers, and prepare to be amazed and then gut-punched … “Chasing Coral” is a film to change the world.

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