Sharkwater is an amazing movie about the things we cannot know or care about in the oceans and in the world unless we are there. Released in 2007 to critical acclaim, this hauntingly beautiful HD film takes us into the deep with filmmaker and biologist, Rob Stewart. Stewart loves sharks and his passion for them leads him to initially set out to make a movie about the natural history of sharks and why we too should love and not fear these magnificent creatures. What happens during the making of this movie becomes about how we need to fear us and not them.
Sharkwater is an achingly gorgeous piece. The marine world Stewart shares with his viewers is lushly colored in deep translucence, populated by beings that live in a way diametrically opposed to ours. In this world of others we are the explorers, the interlopers, the sometime friend or sometime barbarian. This is also a movie about the world we do not see, the world underwater and just how connected we all are on this planet. When Stewart swims next to hammerhead sharks he focuses on maintaining a level heartbeat because these shy creatures are prone to fleeing if they “sense” excitement. When fishermen are filmed bringing up a tortoise in their nets their slaughter of their victim cannot be completed without rendering the creature sightless, as if they, themselves, cannot bear the witness to what they are doing.