Director: Rob Stewart
Starring: Katharina Fabricius, Felix Finkbeiner, David Hannan
Rob Stewart, an award-winning biologist, photographer and filmmaker, starts a ‘revolution’ in his follow-up to his acclaimed documentary, Sharkwater.
Sharkwater (2006) was motivated by Stewart’s goal to stop the finning of sharks for delicacies. It was met with international success. While giving seminars and going to festivals across the globe to promote Sharkwater, an audience member raised a particular question that changed everything, ‘Why protect sharks from being eaten if they will all eventually die out from ocean pollution?’
Stewart was aghast—in his dedication to save the sharks, he failed to see the whole picture. While he was working hard to keep sharks from becoming food, the very environment sharks live in is becoming more hostile and inhabitable through a process called ocean acidification. Stewart realized that in order to save the sharks, their whole ecosystems must be saved. He was, as quoted, “In way over his head.”
This would be the inspiration to his 2013 documentary, Revolution. The film has already won a slew of awards, one being the most popular Canadian film at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival. Here, Stewart makes interdisciplinary analysis of diverse topics from the disappearing coral reefs to Canada’s lack of environmental policies.
Revolution put a creative twist on the typical ‘save-the-animals’ theme. The film’s goal is not to protect endangered animals, but rather, the long-term preservation of humans on earth—running with the tagline, “Save the humans.” Unfortunately, this is where it becomes a bit of a slippery slope. Stewart’s statement that humans will be extinct may garner some disbelief and resistance. This statement also threatens to label this film as yet another doomsayer.
The film provides rich insights about the world and helps show the unforeseen consequences of humanity’s daily actions. Revolution doesn’t let people off by putting all the blame on the government and corporations. It instead forces viewers to confront the reality that everyone has a responsibility to protect the environment.
Throughout the film, one will witness an extreme apathy that continues to suppress many dedicated environmentalists and advocates. The question ‘What does it take to move people?’ was a recurring theme throughout the film. For Stewart, the answer lies with today’s youth. He is amazed by the energy of the many youth activists he encountered, and is convinced the youth will be the driving force behind a revolution for a sustainable future.
Stewart effectively harnesses his award-winning photography skills to capture the hope and resiliency of people on footage.
Revolution isn’t a film lamenting the hopeless state of the world, it is a symbol of hope, and a record of the growing community of people around the world who join forces against what Stewart coined the ‘Greatest War of all time,’ a fight to save the future.
Revolution is an ongoing story of dogged perseverance that empowers us to protect the future with our own hands.
Revolution will hit theatres across Canada this Friday.