TUES. MAR. 20 @ 7:30PM
A documentary film dealing with the devastating impacts of federal regulations on the lives of New England groundfishermen, DEAD IN THE WATER, produced and directed by Rockport native David Wittkower, was two-and-a-half years in the making and is Wittkower’s fifteenth documentary film.
The film was shot in different coastal towns and it features scenes and interviews with area fishermen, their spouses and other family members; advocates for fishermen; elected officials; and community activists.
“This film opens the doors for the world to see how difficult and dangerous the life of a fisherman is,” said John Bell, a former three-term mayor of Gloucester (2002-08). “On top of that, the impact of misguided federal regulations on fishermen has never been presented as powerfully as it is in Dead in the Water. This film packs a real punch. It stays with you long after you’ve seen it.”
Wittkower, a graduate of the American Film Institute as a cinematographer, who’s been living and working in Los Angeles since 1981, describes “Dead in the Water” as an examination of “the relentless destruction of the New England groundfishing industry through government regulations, bad science, and the growing, but mistaken, belief that everything has been overfished and there aren’t any fish left in the oceans.”
The idea for the film came from a casual conversation he had on a sidewalk in Gloucester three years ago. “I was back in Rockport on a visit and I drove into Gloucester and noticed there were very few fishing boats in the harbor,” Wittkower said. “I asked someone, ‘Where’s the fleet?’ and he said, ‘What fleet? The fleet’s been dwindling for years, and this is what’s left.'”•••
PRODUCER ANGELA SANFILIPPO, AS WELL AS SOME LOCAL FISHERMEN, WILL BE ON HAND FOR A DISCUSSION AFTER THE FILM.