American photographer and filmmaker Chris Jordan’s images of dead seabirds with stomachs full of plastic are some of the most widely circulated and shocking depictions of the stark reality that the planet is in a state of emergency.
Documentary movie Albatross tells the story behind these images. Chris Jordan believes the focus should be on forcing people to have a stronger emotional engagement with the problems plastic causes. For this reason, Albatross steps beyond the traditional model of a nature documentary and defines a category of its own.
Midway atoll, located in the middle of the remote North Pacific Ocean, is the farthest you can get from any continent on Earth. There, tens of thousands of Laysan albatross chicks lie dead on the ground, their bodies filled with plastic.
Chris Jordan first journeyed to Midway in 2009. He returned again and again over the course of eight years with his team, documenting the cycles of life and death, and capturing stunning and intimate portraits of these magnificent seabirds.
Although Albatross highlights the plight of plastic, Chris Jordan’s intention in creating the movie was to also shine a light on humanity’s broken relationship with planet Earth. A film about humanity told through the plight of a population of seabirds, while Albatross is a powerful visual journey into the heart of a gut-wrenching environmental tragedy, it is also a love story — a film that speaks to human emotion, challenging humanity’s complicity in the face of destruction and calling for a re-examination of the interconnected role humanity plays within the global ecosystem.
Albatross will be offered as a free public artwork for streaming/download starting on World Oceans Day on 8 June 2018.
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief @rosamedea