Non-IA Reflection

Emma Brunst

Final IA Reflection

For my final International Affairs reflection paper, I fulfilled my “non-IA” requirement with an informative documentary on campus. On November 19, 2 other classmates and I attended “A River Below” which was the 6th movie, out of 7 for the semester, shown by the School of Environment and Natural Resources and Office of Energy and Environment in the Chemical and Biomolecular building. This documentary was directed by Mark Greico and was released in April of 2017. The film explored the ethics and use of media in an attempt save the endangered prink river dolphin in the Amazon. Two specific individuals, marine biologist Fernando Trujillo, and TV host, Richard Rasmussen, evaluate the ethics and media use in the soon extinction of the pink river dolphin. A major plot point of the movie is that fisherman are using the pink river dolphin as bait to catch other fish, leading to their endangerment. Richard Rasmussen has to make the decision to trick local fisherman into catching and killing a pregnant pink river dolphin and documenting the whole instance in order to spread knowledge about it and create a law prohibiting the catching of the dolphin. It became extremely controversial because the world could finally see what was happening to these dolphins, but it gave a terrible reputation to the community that was tricked into doing this. Because of Mr. Rasmussen’s work, the environmental police banned the capturing/killing of the dolphin and enforced it dramatically, with the hopes of taking the dolphin off the endangered species list. In the end of the movie, Mr. Rasmussen made amends with the community that was given a bad reputation and there was still a ban on the killing of these innocent dolphins!

Although this information is not directly pertinent to me, it still made an impact because I learned a immense amount of new information that I did not know prior to the movie. This movie dramatically emphasizes how media can play a dramatic role in what the public sees and how it is portrayed. This relates to the topic of International Affairs because this became a huge part of the Amazon/Central South American economy and directly affects the people and their livings. This did not relate to anything in my other classes, but it captured my interest because conservation and protecting the animals is a strong passion of mine. I gained a new aspect of my academic knowledge, as this information is very pertinent in our world today; so many ecosystems are being destroyed by mankind. If something is not done in the near future, our world as we know it can be destroyed as well as many species of animals and natural lands. Because of this event, I learned that one small new report or post can severely affect the community and the people within it. In addition to the conservation of this movie, I also think people should see this movie because of the media aspect of it as well. It goes to show that one small thing that is posted online can impact and be seen by many people. Overall, I thought this movie and its message was phenomenal and I would gladly recommend this movie/experience to someone else!

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