Racing Extinction Review
Racing Extinction is a 2015 documentary film directed by Louie Psihoyos. It is such a powerful call for action and the year’s finest documentary feature.
It is about the ongoing Anthropogenic mass extinction of species and it follows the efforts of scientists to document it. I found the subject matter not only engaging, but also incredibly important. This is the kind of film that everyone should see at some point. As the film itself states – if more people are educated about this matter, more help would go to the endangered species and some could even be saved. I was always interested in this subject matter and I always found the human species to be incredibly selfish. We are the ones who are responsible for this massive die-off so naturally we are the ones who should also stop it.
Racing Extinction is a propaganda film and although sometimes the film is too angry and preachy, it is all done for a good cause meaning that it is a positive propaganda piece which I admire. The film is so sad and poignant, so dramatic and such a powerful call for action that it might be tough for some to watch. It was for me as it was tragic to behold, all the more tragic because it is real and it is happening right now and most people are either not aware of it or don’t care at all. However, the film ends on such a positive and optimistic note full of hope and light that I absolutely loved it.
Yes, the film is heartbreaking. This is one of the saddest films I’ve seen in years and the one that almost moved me to tears. My heart was truly broken watching this movie and some sequences were almost impossible for me to bear. Those heartbreaking scenes are also the highlights here. I am talking of course about the scene where they photograph the last members of certain species. The shot of the very last member of Rabb’s fringe-limbed treefrog just destroyed me. That was indescribably tragic and one of the saddest scenes I have ever witnessed. Also, the scenes of the fish struggling to swim and the bird’s hopeless call for a mate is tragic. But, on the happier note, the ending is another highlight. It is just so moving and so triumphant and hopeful that I adored it.
Racing Extinction is such a strong film technically. That ending is incredibly well shot and presented and even artistic in its own right. The score in this movie is beautiful to listen to and it lifted some of the more poignant scenes to greater heights. The directing from Louie Psihoyos is also terrific and he did a wonderful job with it. The pacing is also solid. The only problem I’ve had with it is its first act which is not as inspired or nearly as engaging as the rest of the picture which is very involving. It just takes a lot of time to get there, but when it does, it becomes great in almost every aspect.
I liked the interviews as well and some of the scientists again almost made me cry. They clearly do care and you can see the pain in their eyes. You can see how much they try to help and how much they want to raise awareness and that was wonderful to witness. The message in this movie is great and I like how it is smart and they know what is essential for this to stop. It is one of the most emotional documentaries I’ve seen, but the emotion is always real and never forced which is such a great accomplishment.
They say that to raise awareness and educate people about this issue is essential, but I would add that the film industry itself should be more responsible. The fact that this movie wasn’t even nominated for an Oscar is just so devastating to me because not only is it the most important film of the year, but is also the most technically brilliant one and overall the best documentary of 2015. They should be ashamed that they didn’t even consider nominating it. Having in mind that ‘Project Nim’ was also snubbed, it is evident that they are prejudiced against these issues when they should be the most important ones to honor.