From the director of The Cove, comes a new Netflix documentary about the life of Sylvia Earle, who at 78, is witnessing first-hand environmental change on a scale that humans never imagined.
The most moving scene in the upcoming Netflix documentary Mission Blue occurs near the end, when the film crew joins the movie’s central subject, 78-year-old scientific pioneer and ocean explorer Sylvia Earle, on a choppy water journey to a place Earle remembered as her vision of paradise.
That’s no small statement for a woman who has logged more than 7,000 hours—nearly a year of her life–underwater all over the world. In the 1970s, when Earle last dove in the Coral Sea, she fell in love with its vibrant reef, idyllic in its remote location far off the northeast Australia coast.
“The whole point of going there was to find a really healthy, beautiful system to come to the end of this film, and we can go: ‘Ta-dah, there’s reason for hope,’” Earle told Co.Exist in an interview.
Instead, when a still-spry Earle and her companions hit the water in their SCUBA gear, they encountered a wasteland. No colors. No fish. No life.
“We were shocked. We were really shocked,” says co-director and producer Fisher Stevens, who is most famous for The Cove, his Academy Award-winning documentary about dolphin hunting in Japan.