It was with great pleasure that I attended the world Premiere of the latest film from the makers of the multi-award-winning documentary, The Pipe (2010). Directed By Richie O' Donnell.The Pipe was already a gripping tale but with Atlantic Stream Richie goes further.
This film follows the fortunes of three small fishing communities - in Ireland, Norway and Newfoundland – which are at turns united and divided by the Atlantic Ocean. In recent times, mounting challenges within their own industries, the fragile environment, and the lure of high wages for young fishermen on the oil rigs have seen these fishing communities struggle to maintain their traditional way of life.
As the oil majors push into deeper water and further into the Arctic, and the world’s largest fishing companies chase the last great Atlantic shoals, the impact on coastal communities and the ecosystems they rely on is reaching a tipping point. Atlantic tells three very personal stories of those who face the devastating prospect of having their livelihoods taken from them, and their communities destroyed both environmentally and economically.
In Norway, Arctic cod fisherman Bjornar Nicolaisen’s livelihood is under threat from constant seismic blasting by the oil companies across his fishing grounds, as they make a desperate scramble to find the last of the great oil fields. Across the ocean in Newfoundland, Charlie Kane and his brothers will likely be the last generation in their village to fish, yet Charlie is realistic and unsentimental. He is thankful his son can make a living working on the oil rigs, and won’t have to face the hardship of life as a fisherman on Newfoundland’s infamous Grand Banks.
Further south, on the west coast of Ireland, Jerry Early has seen the heart ripped out of his small island as a direct result of the recent ban on wild salmon drift netting. Rather than stand idly by, Jerry is leading the fight to regain traditional fishing rights for island communities. Atlantic uses these personal, intimately-shot stories to illustrate the much broader issue which affects us all: how we manage our natural resources.
By inviting the audience to empathise with those at the epicentre of the resource conflict, the viewer is better able to connect and engage with the politics behind the race for our diminishing resources. Filmed in some of the most remote and extraordinarily breathtaking locations in the North Atlantic, and at close quarters with some of the sea’s most captivating characters, Atlantic will bring the very personal stories in this vital debate to the fore - stories that too often get pushed to one side in favour of press releases and political spin.
Atlantic Stream is much more than a simple documentary. It is a wake up call to what is happening in this world driven by profits before people. Richie has a real talent at telling the truth, we supported "The Pipe" in 2010 and recommend "Atlantic Stream" as a must see for this year. It is that good.
Film Title: Atlantic
Director: Risteard O'Domhnaill
Starring: Brendan Gleeson (provided the voiceover)
Running Time: 80 min
'Best Irish Documentary' at the Dublin International Film Festival 2016
Official Website: http://www.theatlanticstream.com