Today, the kids and I headed down to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History to check out the giant prehistoric snake, the new Nature’s Best photo contest winners, and a new IMAX documentary – Coral Reef Adventure. As with other IMAX features, this one didn’t disappoint.
The movie follows the 10-month adventure of two experienced scuba divers/researchers, as they travel worldwide to investigate the decline of coral reefs. We travel with them from Fiji to Australia to Bali to see both healthy and dying coral reefs. Liam Neeson’s narration discusses the various threats to coral reefs worldwide, including ocean warming, overfishing, and siltation. The photography is, as usual, spectacular. From incredible close-ups showing symbiotic relationships between gobi fish and shrimp (photo from the bbc) , to the usual sphincter-tightening aerial shots for which IMAX is famous, the film consistently shows the beauty of this natural world and emphasizes the importance of conserving these areas. I really didn’t see too many weak points to the film. Sometimes the photographic techniques are a little heavy-handed, such as the use of flash when photographing healthy reefs, but no flash when photographing dead reefs.
Without being overly pessimistic, the filmmakers discuss the issue of coral reef decline and the possible extinction of most coral reefs within the next 30 years. Pretty depressing stuff, but the film presents this information in a constructive, educational, and even hopeful manner. Accompanied by the music of Crosby, Stills, and Nash (including a funny piece of “Our House” as the little shrimp cleaned house for the gobi fish), the film is as entertaining as it is informative.
I highly recommend seeing this documentary when it comes to your nearest IMAX!