Film review: The Last Catch

The Last Catch (2012). Director Marcus Schmidt, 84 minutes, subtitles.

This eco-documentary about the disastrous over-fishing of blue fin tuna was shown at the Ultimate Picture Palace in Oxford on 3rd June as part of the 2014 Green Film Festival. Unfortunately, The Last Catch is an abysmal shambles and I can’t believe that anybody involved in the selection process had actually seen it before its inclusion in the festival programme. In fact, it’s so bad that it could be used at film schools as a perfect example of “how not to make a documentary”. There was such a dearth of information and worthwhile footage, that after 25 minutes of rambling shots and incoherent interviews I was falling asleep. Also, there was an abundance of lingering shots of harbours, seascapes and the repeated image of a man chain smoking and looking out to sea through binoculars. It was confusing, unintelligible, inept and very boring. Crucially, the basic viewpoint of the film was totally muddled. If I hadn’t known what it was meant to be about I wouldn’t have had a clue. Obviously I didn’t have any sympathy for the redundant fishermen that had plundered the blue fin to the point of extinction, but was I supposed to? Other films on the subject including The End of the Line (2009) and Sushi: The Global Catch (2012) are both very good, but all prints and DVDs of The Last Catch should be unceremoniously buried at sea.

Paul Freestone

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