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Great White Shark Legend (2014)
Finally someone gets it right!
Ricardo Lacombe really made a worthwhile film here that shows clear appreciation for the sharks rather than the typical vilification. No fierce shots of sharks biting baits or attacking surfboards; just real pseudo-natural interactions. While some of the water shots are too short and some of the interviews a tiny bit too long, its clear that there is reality presented rather than a bunch of ridiculous sensationalism.
When you see the individuals interviewed in this program, it is immediately apparent their appreciation and love for these white sharks. Rob Lawrence even states how he had to hide his admiration just to get the opportunity to have thrilling and amiable interactions with the white sharks of South Africa.
What really hit home were two special parts of this program. The interviews with the children that show immeasurably more rational feelings than with the average adult. Children love the sharks and its obvious to see the that these children have much more mature opinions that their adult counterparts. Its happy for a marine biologist like myself to see some kids really like the sharks or at the very least...looking at sharks like a something to be mindful of, but not feared (which - for once - is shown as the truth rather than the monsters of legend).
Lastly, I really loved the discussion about shark personalities. There has not been such a comprehensive examination on film that portrays sharks in this light. If we were to look at humans as a species and not a conglomeration of individuals, we could make the same superficial, but glaring critiques we make for sharks (if not worse). Yet, here we see how sharks not only have particular behaviors, but those behaviors change from one interaction to another. It was so refreshing to see this accurately portrayed and not just "sharks kill people" kind of attitude.
Discovery Channel TAKE NOTE!!! You're silly monotonous fabrications are no longer a standard. Nearly all of your Shark Week specials this year were abysmal in their accuracy and true portrayal. This film should be your guide for the future. You don't need to "Make sharks exciting", because they are exciting all on their own. You show footage of sharks and the people will come. Start taking notes and making films like these without the asinine dramatics or mock-u-mentaries. Its time to grow up and portray sharks as they should be portrayed. In truth, rather than fictitious irrationality.
I want to personally thank Ricardo and his wife (Rachel) for allowing me to preview this film. I stand amazed at their accomplishment. Its truly a labor of love and if this film were literature, I would liken it to the works of Shakespeare. Maybe not Hamlet, per se, but definitely on par with "Much Ado About Nothing"; which is fitting because that title fits how we, as humans and media, treat sharks.
Bravo and I greatly expect an encore film in the future. Hats off for this effort.