Salmon Confidential portrays the government cover-up of what is killing BC’s wild salmon like a dramatic thriller set against an ecological backdrop, but it’s not as exciting as that logline might suggest. When biologist Alexandra Morton discovers salmon in BC are testing positive for dangerous European viruses, it sets off a chain of events at all levels of government to suppress these findings. Tracking viruses, Morton moves from courtrooms, to British Columbia’s most remote rivers, and even to Vancouver area grocery stores and sushi restaurants in her effort to bring critical information to the public in time to save BC’s wild salmon.
You wouldn’t think that the Pacific Salmon is a key species for the eco system, but they are, and in Salmon Confidential director Twyla Roscovich paints a picture of governmental cover-up filled with facts and talked heads as she tracks the investigation, but it’s a little dry as she tries to get from point to point. She constructs good arguments and uses her subjects well, but it lacks any genuine emotional connection, never allowing the audience to invest in this story outside of the facts.
It’s strong enough to make us pay attention in giving us the facts about this environmental issue, but falls short in helping us remember it after we see the film. (Dave Voigt)
Sunday, November 24th, 11:45am, TIFF Bell Lightbox