At the Edge of the World (DVD Review)23 Jan, 2011 By: Angelique Flores
$19.98 DVD, $24.98 Blu-ray
Rated ‘PG’ for some thematic elements.
The controversial Sea Shepherd Conservation Society was founded to hunt down whaling ships to prevent their illegal killing of endangered whales.
At the Edge of the World tracks the organization’s third Antarctic Campaign, led by Capt. Paul Watson, who founded the group in 1977. The group members say they are not protesters, but rather interventionists.
In their third outing, the group’s two ships are manned by crews of volunteers, who don’t seem to be very well trained. Without permission to register under any country due to pressure from the Japanese government, the ships are officially pirate ships.
The Sea Shepherd group is nonviolent, but they will do whatever they can to make the lives of those whaling boats “miserable” so Japanese ships will lose money and eventually shut down operations. Their tactics include damaging target ships and trying to get them to report to their nearest port of call to stall their operations.
The organization is not only up against the Japanese whaling ships, but also the Japanese government, other governments and even Greenpeace.
The Japanese maintain that their ships are not whaling ships, but rather research ships. They have the support of their government with finances, technology and political influence.
The documentary is filled with more drama and intensity than audiences might expect as a man goes overboard, one of the zodiac boats is lost between the two ships, and the crews finally find their target, the Nisshin Maru.
The film also has some beautiful shots of the Antarctic, with its sublime ice shelves, and whales and penguins in their natural habitat.