Confessions of an Eco-Terrorist (Peter Jay Brown):2011

Reviewed by Linda Sweatt at Metro 4 Theater, part of the Santa Barbara International film festival

Comedy, tradgegy and adventure.

Brillantly combing the three, Peter Brown directs, produces and stars in his first film Confessions of an Eco-Terrorist.  We all know by now our oceans are suffering, sea life is dying, but most of us don’t know the nitty gritty details let alone try to do something about it. This film is a call for action from the activists who have seriously devoted their lives to making a change. Tackling a very depressing topic, Confessions of an Eco-Terrorist is comparable to Micheal Moores’ 911 because Brown brings his passion, humor and optimism to the entire film.

Confessions of an Eco-Terrorist is exactly what it proclaims, delivering the title. This is the story of the original green peace activists who became frustrated with the passive tactics of green peace and go on to become Eco-pirates of the sea . Together they created the Sea Shepherds Society who believe in more aggressive action, they say aggressive nonviolence. These activists patrol the High seas of the world under captain Paul Watson, better known as captain Paul and his band of pirates. They buy old ships and submarines and go after the bad guys, literally chasing sea poachers, ramming and banging into ships to get them to stop and leave. After 30 years of experience, they are the masters. Loving cannons, Watson has one aboard the ship and fires warning shots at the poachers; if that doesn’t work he will literally ram his ship into the poachers ship often damaging the boats and forcing them to stop what they are doing and leave. Whether it is whale hunting boats in Norway seal killers in the Arctic the Sea Shepherds Society chases them down.

Unfortunately, the marine sanctuaries that are protected around the world are the easiest targets for the poachers. Bountiful but without allot of enforcement the sea activist are often called upon to protect places like the Galapagos Island preserve. These encounters often happen in the middle of know where, far out to see, so another weapon they use is that of the media, often taking on board their ships many famous celebrities and the news media. Reporting and publicizing  the offenses are sometimes enough to get them to stop.

By far the worst are the Korean and Japanese drift net boats. The nets are 40 to 175 miles in length literally cleansing the ocean of all living things, killing everything in it’s path, the nets catch everything from dolphins, sea turtles, seals, sharks and seabirds (not to mention whatever fish it was they were actually fishing for). Known as the curtains of death half of all the catch is discarded. So the greatest result has been the successfully stopping this practice. The Eco-terrorists will cut the nets and then ram the ships  disabling them to continue net fishing. After many years of fighting them, people Finlay notice and the drift net boats have now been banned world wide.

Many volunteers go along helping on these missions, Brown went out of his way to honor and acknowledge the incredible work of the women crew members. He also commented on the fact that their major financial contributors are women over the age of 65, proving that everyone can get involved.

As much as it pains my heart to gain knowledge of more evil that is currently perpetuated by man over nature, there is a great amount of joy in this film. It boggles my mind how some people can withstand witnessing such severe monstrosities. I am convinced this strength is bestowed upon those who immerse themselves in the fight of change. When one contributes to  finding a solution, one receives power and optimism because after all it only takes one person to change reality and accomplish extraordinary things. Confessions of a Ec0-terrorist is truly a testament to this and their accomplishments deserve to be celebrated.

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