qathet film festival 2024
Wed March 6 — 7 pm
Matthieu Rytz’s documentary, Deep Rising, about the bounty at the bottom of the sea, examines the fight over whether to reap these riches or preserve them. Five years after Anote’s Ark, he returns with this up-to-the-minute tale of geopolitical, scientific, and corporate intrigue that exposes the machinations of a secretive organization empowered to greenlight massive extraction of metals from the deep seafloor that are deemed essential to the electric battery revolution. Narrated by Jason Momoa, Deep Rising illuminates the vital relationship between the deep ocean and sustaining life on Earth.
The film mixes spectacular views of deep ocean life with a look at opposing sides in a largely under-the-radar international fight over whether to mine minerals from those hitherto unspoiled, barely-explored depths. Essential for anyone who has bought into the new green revolution, Deep Rising is a warning that there are no quick fixes, and we should always be wary of miracle solutions, as none really exist. Developing any technology too quickly can lead to its environmental consequences being overlooked. That’s particularly risky when it comes to the deep ocean, because we still know very little about how its ecosystems operate.
The footage of iridescent creatures with billowing tentacles or translucent bodies mesmerizes but it also creates contemplative pauses amid the documentary’s facts, interviews, and the damning history of the mining industry. The optimism here resides in the filmmaker’s trusting his audience to grapple with the entwined fates of the seafloor, its inhabitants and humankind. Rytz associates the hunt for wealth on the ocean floor to the scramble for land and resources during the colonial era. He ends on a note of hope, looking at under-used surface resources. Can we get to grips with this problem and start focusing on the right solutions, rather than the easy but incredibly risky ones, before it is too late?
Director Kent Tate
Canada / English, 2023
This experimental film describes a time when we had a front row seat where it seemed that we could see everything yet it felt as if we were seeing nothing at all.