We live in a really weird world — a world where science is something that can be denied, even when it's staring us all right in the face. Enter: Chasing Coral, the climate change doc everyone needs to watch right now. The documentary from Jeff Orlowski, the director of Chasing Ice, takes viewers underwater to look at the effect climate change has had on coral reefs. And it's as stunning as it is terrifying.
Chasing Coral isn't the first climate change documentary turning heads this year, but it is unique. Unlike other climate change documentaries, like An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, Chasing Coral doesn't rely on computer simulations of massive storms and flooding. Instead, director Orlowski uses time lapse images to make the consequences of climate change more tangible. "With Chasing Ice and then Chasing Coral, the goal for us was to make both of those movies visual evidence — so you can't refute this story being told through the time lapses," Orlowski said in an interview with Westword.
For Orlowski, the goal of the film is not just to expose viewers to coral reefs, but to create a public record of climate change effects happening in real time. In some particularly shocking scenes, for example, Chasing Coral shows how quickly coral is dying across the ocean using before and after photos of coral bleaching.
The filmmakers behind Chasing Coral don't just hope the movie helps convince audiences that climate change exists, they want the movie to awaken people to technology that can help slow or rectify the environmental costs of global warming. "We know that the science behind climate change is very real, and what we're trying to do with this film is just to speed up all the solutions that we know are available," Orlowski told Deadline. And that mission to increase awareness of both the problem and the solutions, might just take him all the way to the White House.
In light of Donald Trump pulling the United States out of the Paris Climate Accord, it can be easy to lose hope that the president would ever take climate change seriously. But Orlowski is cautiously optimistic about the future of America's policy on climate change, and thus the future of Earth. "I certainly hope we can solve climate change instead of continuing to document the demise of the planet," he said in a radio interview with "The Frame."
And if that requires him to personally sit Trump down and show him Chasing Coral, that's what he'll do. "Maybe we need to chase Donald Trump for a little bit for him to see the imagery, see the story, see what's happening and for him to understand the severity — the significance — of the issue," he added.
Chasing Coral will premiere on Netflix on July 14, so if any good Samaritan wants to pay for a White House Netflix account, now is the time.