Edward Bass Films

"Mission Blue" - Netflix Documentary in Which Dr. Sylvia Earle Asks, "Do You Enjoy Breathing"

Producer Edward Bass reviews new hit Netflix documentary, “Mission Blue”


Los Angeles, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 08/19/2014 -- You would presume that any documentary that is based on that question would be a heavy, perhaps thought provoking, but preachy ode. Not “Mission Blue”, the Netflix documentary produced by Fisher Stevens and Robert Nixon about superwoman Sylvia Earle and her quest to save us and our oceans.

While most people are in the midst of, or at last planning their retirement, Dr. Sylvia Earle is (at 78) becoming a global phenomenon. Dr. Earle and Fisher Stevens, director of Oscar-winning documentary, The Cove, have teamed up to create this phenomenal hit on Netflix which aired for the first time August 15 to solid critical and commercial acclaim.

Dr. Sylvia Earle’s somewhat rhetorical question about breathing comes from 60 years of studying the ocean, and not in some dry, academic way. She has been diving since she was 7 and holds the women’s record for deep sea diving at 1250 feet. The film explores her study of, and love affair with the ocean in a lyric, exquisitely visual, beautiful manner, along with the stunning idea that if the oceans die, so do we.

In this visually intoxicating film which is out in Theaters as well as on Netflix, Earle points out Earth would not be hospitable for humans if it weren’t for the ocean. “It’s filled with living things that shape the chemistry of Earth,” she says. “It’s where we get most of our oxygen, from small organisms that make up the plankton in the sea. Of course trees and other green things have much to do with generating oxygen and taking up carbon dioxide—but there’s no green without blue.”

Her cause has already earned the endorsement of the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio, who has hosted screenings of the film, and calls Earle “an inspiration,” noting that when they scuba dive together, he has trouble keeping up with the 78-year-old. Upon hearing this, Earle laughs. “I think that’s an exaggeration,” she says. “He does very well underwater.”

“Leonardo is more than a pretty face,” she says with a laugh. “He’s been a champion for the ocean and a champion for the world, in so many ways.”

Earle met DiCaprio four years ago on a trip to the Galapagos Islands, where she also met actor and filmmaker Fisher Stevens, an Oscar-winning producer on “The Cove.” Stevens and Robert Nixon co-directed “Mission Blue”, which highlights remarkable moments in Earle’s career while also showing how the ocean has changed over the years due to issues like oil spills, overfishing and environmental changes. All the while it services Earle’s mission, to create a network of protected marine sanctuaries she calls “hope spots.”

As a career retrospective, the film is fascinating. When she embarked on her in 1964 to study the Indian Ocean, one headline blared: “Sylvia Sails Away with 70 Men, But She Expects No Problem.” As a personal story, it’s equally intriguing—she details the collapse of three marriages and raising children as a working mother who would take off for expeditions across the world. But as a warning call to protect our planet, it’s terrifying.

“We’ve done great damage to the fabric of life, especially in the ocean,” she notes.

The film is not all doom and gloom, however. The message is ultimately one of hope—that if we act now, change can be made. And the response has been very positive, with many audiences wanting to get involved. “People care. People want to know,” Earle says. “And I want them to go jump in the ocean—in a positive way.”

James Cameron, noted for his own deep sea research, comments in the trailer, “She has made it her life’s purpose to make sure everybody else understands what’s going on.”

To view the Official Trailer for "Mission Blue" click the following link:

About Edward Bass
Edward Bass is a Golden-Globe nominated film Producer. He has worked alongside such producers as Sir Anthony Hopkis, James Franco, Guillermo Del Toro, Stanley Kramer and Kevin Spacey.


Media Contact:

Barbara Gold
Company: Edward Bass Films
email: Barbara@EdwardBassFilms
Los Angeles, CA 90019
Barbara Gold 212-874-3333