TRIGGER WARNING FOR THIS REVIEW AND THE DOCUMENTARY ‘FIN’: ABUSE & SLAUGHTER OF LIVE SHARKS IS DESCRIBED AND SHOWN IN FULL.
The name Eli Roth rings a bell with many horror fanatics, but the director of Hostel, Cabin Fever and many other gory flicks, has just made something far more horrifying – Fin, a documentary for discovery+, executive produced by Leonardo DiCaprio and Nina Dobrev.
Roth, host of Shark After Dark, has always found sharks pretty terrifying. When Discovery asks him to go confront his fear, he’s surprised by how social these sea creatures really are. The documentary is highly informative, delivering accurate statistics that’ll blow your mind. As Roth explains to us that he’s not a marine biologist nor a scientist, he just wants to bring awareness and understand what exactly is going on with our oceans, and more importantly: expose the truth.
Sharks have survived mass extinctions throughout our planet’s existence, but due to finning and (often illegal) shark fishing on a global scale, a lot of species have become endangered. There’s a high demand in fin soup, as it’s been an Asian delicacy for decades now, but that’s not where it ends. Sharks are being used in our very own daily lives, and we’re not even aware of it.
When Roth starts his journey for answers, we quickly witness some very graphic actions by local Mexican fishermen. Roth himself asks the crew if they can pay the fishermen not to kill the sharks they just caught, but it’s too late and by means of a simple baseball bat a live shark gets beaten to death.
These type of scenes are mostly shown by use of archival footage, but Roth and the film crew are often confronted with on the spot brutal abuse that leads to these animal’s deaths just for their fins. Finning is legal in Mexico, but illegal in many countries around the world. About 100,000,000 sharks get slaughtered every year, and because some species can take up to three years to deliver their babies, it’s almost impossible to reproduce and maintain the balance.
There’s a level of urgency I haven’t witnessed in a very long time. It instantly reminded me of a similar documentary – The Cove. There’s barely a moment to really come up for air, but the information given is easy to comprehend as it’s delivered in a very clear manner. Roth does a magnificent job as host and shows he really cares about the subject matter of his film. This becomes even clearer when he goes to Hong Kong and Liberia to join Sea Shepherd in the fight for justice and looks for answers regarding finning and the declining numbers in shark populations. What he finds is mind-boggling and utterly horrific.
Fin is Roth’s most exciting work in years. With layers upon layers of information that goes deeper than we could ever imagine, his documentary calls for change within ourselves and our lifestyles. A film that really sinks its several rows of teeth into you.
You can watch FIN now on discovery+
Reviewed online (screener provided by publicist), July 12, 2021. Rating: TBC. Running time: 101 min.
PRODUCTION: A discovery+ release of a Appian Way, Lionsgate & Pilgrim Media Group production. Producers: Nicholas Caprio, Mohamed El Monastery, Craig Piligian & Gretchen Stockdale. Executive producers: Jennifer Davisson, Leonardo DiCaprio, Nina Dobrev, Michael Muller, Mike Nichols, Edward Rohwedder, Eli Roth & Phillip Watson.
CREW: Director/writer: Eli Roth. Cinematography: Doug Glover. Music: Nathan Barr, Kyle Rodriguez & Lisbeth Scott.