The End of the Line
Where have all the fish gone?
Official film description...
The End of the Line is a gripping, sobering documentary for anyone who loves fish, the ocean—and the health of the earth's entire ecosystem. British filmmaker Rupert Murray has created a must-see film—a true call to action—that compellingly makes the case that the earth's oceans must be preserved, like great areas of the land, for future generations, to prevent the emptying of the seas of fish. Murray examines modern fishing practices, and the lack of agreement in the global community on what's acceptable. Trawling, for example, still the major form of catching mass quantities of fish, is done many times a year in the same spot—a practice, Murray tells the viewer, akin to “plowing a field seven times a year.” The yield is, and will be, ever diminishing.
Murray based his documentary on Charles Clover's book “The End of the Line: How Overfishing Is Changing the World and What We Eat”. As a film, however, the message has far more impact—the gorgeous undersea photography is riveting and inspiring—and helps leaven the downbeat overall message of The End of the Line. Ted Danson is an engaging narrator, not mincing words or glossing over harsh realities about the world's diminishing fish supply—yet drawing in the viewer to the wonders of the ocean, and why they need the same protections that vast areas of land preserves enjoy.
The End of the Line will make viewers think twice about the fish they eat—and maybe spur them into ocean conservation activism.
Notes on the film...
In “The End of the Line” by Rupert Murray, scientists show that if we continue fishing as we have been up to now, we will witness the end of seafood in about 2048. According to the film, consumers who shop unconsciously, politicians who ignore scientific advice and protests, fishermen who fish illegally and violate quotas, and the global fishing industry (EU!) are to be held responsible.
As examples, the film shows how the demand for cod in Newfoundland depleted the once abundant population of this species in 1990, how high-tech fleets block all escape routes for schools of fish and how “sustainable” fish-farming is apparently a myth.
“The End of the Line” offers simple solutions that, however, require political will and activism to achieve international success. Fishing must be controlled by restricting the number of fleets, by establishing marine reserves and by informing customers that they have the option of buying fish from sustainable fisheries. (In this regard, it has to be mentioned that the MSC label propagandised in the film and by the WWF is not really sustainable since it permits bottom trawl fishing.)
Rating from our film jury...
“The End of the Line” is an intelligent, inspiring and quite entertaining film. It is suitable for secondary schools and universities, for teachers and educated multipliers. Individuals can also help raise awareness by passing on a DVD of the film to family and friends.
It presents the very topical issue of overfishing and its dimensions very clearly. Well-researched and documented, with numerous interviews and evident connections to our everyday lives, “The End of the Line” also offers several better alternatives and perspectives.
The knowledge it conveys is put into perspective, and human influence on the earth’s ecosystem is depicted very vividly. Numerous examples add to the journalistic value.
Not least, “The End of the Line” is emotional and inspiring. The film offers viewers a global perspective in which respect and esteem for creation play a significant role, and it succeeds in arousing a strong sense of responsibility.
The logical development is understandable, and the dramaturgy full of suspense. The images and scenes are aesthetically impressive – some of them unique – and highly content-related. Editing, cinematography and soundtrack are good throughout the film.
“An Inconvenient Truth about the oceans” –The Economist
“Everyone should see this film” –The Times
“Scarier than Jaws…a must-see documentary.” –Sunday Express
“Highly important, well-researched and impartial: A film which destroys our very old faith in the oceans as an unceasing resource and gives a convincing explanation that the most important species of eatable fish is destined to extinction.” –New York Times
“A plea for our oceans” –Zeit Wissen
“How our love affair with seafood destroys the oceans of the earth.” –Daily Mirror
“An extremely valuable film” –Deutsche Film- und Medienbewertung
Technical information and screening rights...
Director: Rupert Murray
Script: Charles Clover
Producers: Claire Lewis, George Duffield
Executive Producers: Christopher Hird, Jess Search
Narrator: Ted Danson
Run Time: 82 minutes
Studio: Dartmouth Film, Tiberius Film
Language (Audio): English, German
Language (Subtitles): German