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Tribeca 2019 Review: “Watson” (2019) ★★★★


A few months ago I asked my nephew what he believed is the most dangerous thing on this planet. A while back his response was – an earthquake. But this time he gave a different answer which was shockingly wise for a child of his age – “People”, he replied. I asked, “Why people?” Then he said something that made me feel comfortable and shaky at the same time, “We are heartless because we kill the only living things that can facilitate us to exist – our planet and the fishes.”

Watson, directed by Lesley Chilcott, follows captain Paul Franklin Watson, a Canadian-American environmental activist, co-founder of Greenpeace and the founder of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. He’s someone who’s dedicated his life fighting for something that should involve us all – to stop the killing of whales and destroying the ocean the result of which can devastate humanity. As an activist, he handles multiple duties on the sea that’s incomprehensible and admirable at the same time to ensure he saves as many lives as he can – the life of the ocean we can’t exist without.

The film opens with the backstory of its titular character, as we dive into his world through the words of Watson, who step by step describes the reasons he became an activist, someone who will sacrifice his own life for the good of humanity that does not really appreciate his devotion, dedication, and love for the planet. 
You may say humans kill humans, so what could stop them from not killing animals? Questions like this are hard to process but as you watch the film, you see how brutally the ocean and its inhabitants are killed by people no matter what part of the planet they are from. It is shocking, inhumane, and animal-like.

At some point, Watson says, “When there’s action there’s a reaction,” and even adds, “In our society, property is more important than human life. Property is safer and human life is expendable”. Listening to his philosophical approach for all his unconditional support of the ocean, one thing though he says is what we should never forget if one of us at some point decides to assassinate the ocean, “If the ocean dies we all die. We don’t live on a planet with the dead ocean.” 

That said, if we want our next generation to enjoy the planet we live in, we all must take action by listening first, form our own opinion of what is right and what is wrong, and decide who we are – the one who will destroy our only home or keep it alive by taking care of its ecosystem and let the ocean to continue giving us what we, in most cases, take for granted – the earth itself.

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