The Santa Barbara International Film Festival shone dazzlingly with the premiere of Fisher Stevens' documentary"Mission Blue," highlighting the amazing accomplishments of oceanographer extraordinaire Sylvia Earle. As the film portrays, in eloquent depth and underwater cinematography, (credits to Axel Baumann; Damien Drake; and Bryce Groark). Sylvia Earle is doing a yeoman job of trying to save the planet, one fish at a time. The life and vibrancy of the undersea world, as explored previously by filmmaker Jacques Cousteau (one of Earle's heroes), reflects the buoyancy of the earth and all its glory. Earle, ever since she was a child, growing up near the Jersey shore, and later the beaches of Florida, would forever be immersed in ocean exploration, playing with seashells, seaweed, and sand crabs. She was fascinated by the sparkling ocean and its great mystique. She decided to devote her life to this calling, and despite the odds, and being told this is a world of men, not women, she persevered, to the point of becoming one of the world's esteemed oceanographers.
This film is devoted to her pursuit of truly trying to save the ocean and its habitat, and all that dwells within. Both a profile of her life and a call to save deep sea life, the film creates a legacy that is "Mission Blue." The outstanding cinematography and camerawork reveals the underbelly of waters worldwide, from the Australian coral reefs... to the Gulf of Mexico. It emphasizes the endangered species, from minnows to whales.
This film is a fascinating homage and tribute to one of the world's iconic female pioneers. What an ideal venue, for this film to premiere in beautiful Santa Barbara, at the SBIFF, with all its ties to environmental causes.