Wide Blue

This film uses appropriated documentary footage to create a fictional tale. The narrator claims to be an alien from the Andromeda galaxy who fled to earth as their planet died. Having lived among the human race for a while he now observes us making the same mistakes leading to the possible demise of life on our planet.

The story is told using documentary footage taken on board the space shuttle whilst it orbits the earth and also of divers under the polar ice, itself a strange alien world full of ice shapes and muted light. By adding to the footage  a new narrative and by removing the original sound track the context has been changed allowing the alien’s story to be told. The accompanying music is provided by a choir giving a sense of tribal ancestry which compliments the footage and adds weight to the new tale by linking the modern footage with the past.

By splitting the footage into chapters each part of the tale is told. This ranges from new footage of the ‘alien’ speaking into the camera outlining the reasons and method by which he and his colleagues came to the earth, to a voice over adding new meaning to the appropriated scene.

The question the film raises is a simple one. Are we really ready to explore and settle on new worlds when we obviously cannot take care of the one we have? The ecological statement is clear and reinforced by several shots of the earth from space indicating how fragile our planet actually is.

One of the last frontiers to be explored is the deep ocean and now man is encroaching into this pristine wilderness by diving under the ice.

In conclusion the film makes clever use of unrelated footage piecing them together to form the visuals of a mostly narrated story. The film works in the selection of footage and its relation to the story but fails as many sequences are just too long and the audio musical accompaniment too monotonous and repetitive. The same story and effect could have been achieved in a film of 30 minutes instead of the too long 1 hour and 17 minutes.


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