Documentaries are about achieving an artful balance of persuasion via engaging testimonials, revelatory visuals and the undeniable pleasure of enlightenment. On one end of the spectrum, documentaries which sensationalise events, told with skewed perception and rely on shocking, bizarre imagery - are bias to a fault, sceptisism inevitably invading the audience. But failure to dramatise events for the sake of entertainment results in a stale retellings, the attention of the audience wanes. However documentaries which strike this balance behold beautiful and terrifying powers. They have audiences believing in conspiracies, illuminated by horrible histories, inspired into activism. They can persuade viewers to change their lifestyle, their awareness, their diet. These films are infectious in their conviction and pure in their vision. It is director, environmentalist and photographer Louie Pshioyos who clearly appreciates this - his fascination with the storytelling utility of cinema and its use as a "weapon of mass construction" is clear. His 2012 docu-drama, The Cove, illuminated our screens with the iconic image of a blood-filled cove, revolutionising the modern documentary genre and went on to become one of the most widely-viewed and awarded documentaries in the history of cinema. Racing Extinction, built on the same potent ambition and avant-garde technical niche, is a sobering tale of a human reality and the ugly future with awaits those selfish and ignorant to its severity.
Racing Extinction throws light on all of the environmental truths most people try to ignore. Director Louie Pshioyos addresses human impact on a faltering environmental by illustrating the grand plan to salvage our dying planet including the small but wonderful ways individual activists have sought change by using their own talents and then highlights the various operations which undermine its entire cause. In many ways, Racing Extinction is a look at Psihoyos own environmental awakening- how he became conscious, then angry in his conviction and now driven in his pursuit for a future. He champions awareness and action, identifying our current environmental state as a war zone, the apathetic and greedy are the enemies and for once the impending apocalypse upon our loss has some realism attached to it.