Shark Week 2021 has come to close after another successful barrage of insightful feature-length and episodic documentaries, but none quite made their mark as much as Eli Roth’s ‘Fin’.
When you hear that Eli Roth, master of gore, will be directing a shark movie, a documentary was probably not what you had in mind – and it wasn’t for Roth either. Instead, the director opts to share his interest and love for sharks. It’s a plainly wholesome concept, which is not a word that has ever been used to describe Roth’s previous features – remember Cabin Fever (2002)?
The surge of empathy that we feel for these animals is drawn to attention by the fact that Roth is at the front and centre throughout the entire film. There’s very little engagement from experts and this really drives the weight of the situation home. It shouldn’t require a specialist to tell us the impact that shark finning is having on the existence of sharks and the ocean. With our own eyes, we can see that these practices are immoral.
The feature is no less grotesque as the rest of Roth’s filmography. What we see is not for the faint of heart; whilst still alive, sharks are being brutally finned for the sole purpose of financial gain or entertainment before being tossed back in the ocean to die. It is sickening to the core but fits in well with Roth’s preferred aesthetic.
As a whole, Fin is a somber, graphic insight to the atrocities committed against sharks, but Eli Roth’s appreciation for the animals is commendable. If you had no concern over the treatment of sharks, you certainly will after this documentary.