The End of the Line

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A documentary by Rupert Murray. Unrated. Plays Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday, August 31 and September 2 and 3, at the Vancity Theatre

Where The Cove focused on the brutal and deeply unnecessary butchering of dolphins, this relentless exposé examines how the same toothless international bodies indicted there are buried even further in the pockets of large corporations determined to fish all large marine life to extinction.


Watch the trailer for The End of the Line.

The End of the Line was directed by Englishman Rupert Murray and written by former Daily Telegraph environmental editor Charles Clover, who wrote the book upon which this is based. The thrust here is that so-called experts have drastically underestimated the rate at which fish stocks around the world are disappearing, and that even the Maritime cod collapse of the early 1990s would have been predicted if anyone was really paying attention. While officials busily fudge the details, industrial fishing giants are building ever more efficient craft, smashing the ocean floors in the process of grabbing every last thing that moves—and killing everything that isn’t wanted.

At the same time, major buyers—Mitsubishi is the biggest, it turns out—are figuring out how to freeze and preserve blue-fin tuna and other fast-disappearing species, the better to charge whatever the hell they want for tasty morsels demanded by worldwide sushi eaters who are mostly unaware that they (we) are sucking the life out of possibly irreparable seas.

Following on the heels of effective docs like Food, Inc. and Waterlife, the well-photographed, wide-travelling End of the Line makes a convincing case for consumer self-education, even if it is overly freighted with talking heads and a pastiche of obnoxious musical cues. But let’s face it, it will be incredibly hard to make public servants go after big-business leaders, who—much like their fabled cargoes of old—are rotting from the head down.

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