Chasing Coral (Released: July 14, 2017)

Chasing Coral (Commentary)

Chasing Coral is a documentary which I have decided I would rather not rate. I feel like documentaries aren’t exactly cinematic masterpieces but rather informative and intriguing.

I came across this film at my University as it was being shown with Q and A afterward by my marine biologist professors, an engineer professor and a guest speaker who was in the film.

This film was about capturing the phenomenon of coral bleaching. The creation of this documentary started with a man in advertising who found himself wanting more in life. He wanted to use his skills in advertisement for deeper more important issues in the world. Somehow, he became invested in the documenting of coral and joined a team of videographers and marine biologists who discuss their knowledge of coral and the issues they are seeing. Currently in the world, right now, the overall surface temperature of the ocean is rising. Because of this, the photosynthetic bacteria living inside of the coral begin to malfunction, and they detect this change of temperature as a foreign invader. Then they expel their photosynthetic bacteria, leaving behind a white or bleached dying skeleton. It’s like when a person has a fever because they’re sick. The body is trying to fight the virus, so they may sweat or vomit trying to expel the disease. However, for coral, they lose a lot more than just the “disease” and eventually die.

As the story went on, I found myself fascinated with the wonderworld beneath the waves. The filmmakers captured all the bright, colorful creatures and coral perfectly, and I wanted to dive right in to experience it myself. However, once I began to understand the purpose of the film and see how the coral is being bleached away, it became clear that this is a HUGE problem. It makes me wonder about how this could affect the ecosystem and how much the oceans could change if the coral continues to die.

The film overall was truly a head turner. It got my attention on the oceanic changes that are occurring right now. However, I wish there were better shots of the coral and underwater world and more information on what is being done for the coral and what could happen in the future. I wanted to be given a way to take action after the credits rolled.

I’d say this documentary is worth watching. Human beings should be concerned enough with the world we live in to recognize and care about when it is being destroyed and mutilated.


If coral and the ocean are something you care about, try finding small, sustainable changes you can make in your daily life. For example, you could give up one-use plastic straws, buy reusable shopping bags, and always wait 15 minutes after applying sunscreen to get into the ocean.

Keep it real,



Categories Documentaries, Movie ReviewsTags , , ,

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