Story

The Map to Paradise is a powerful documentary about a new movement to save the ocean and all its creatures. Audiences are taken around the world to different countries and communities that are playing a role in helping restore balance to the sea.

The documentary shows the damage that people have done to nature, such as the terrible state of the marine ecosystem in Greece and the devastation wrought by the whaling industry. But the movie also offers hope that there are ways to combat what’s happening and restore what has been lost.

Viewers meet Mario from Apo Island in the Philippines, who has developed his mother’s marine sanctuary into something that empowers his people, especially girls. Mario shares his vision with people from other islands in the Philippines as well as other nations around the world. We also see how the Republic of Palau, which forcibly protects 80% of its water, is leading the world in environmental protection and recovery.

The documentary shows what it takes to reach the United Nations goals of protecting the sea. It also illustrates what we need to do to restore balance to our incredible ecosystems.

Themes

Animal distress; environmental distress; cruelty to animals and destruction of ecosystems; the legend of a child who is killed by his community

Violence

The Map to Paradise has some violence, particularly violence towards animals. For example:

  • There are images of fish and sharks being speared or lying dead on the beach.
  • There’s a folk tale from Palau of a boy called Chaub, who has an insatiable appetite. Despite constantly feeding him, the villagers eventually realise that to save themselves they must destroy him. They set him on fire while he’s sleeping. The story is told in illustrations as well as words, which might distress viewers who don’t understand the meaning behind this folk tale.
  • There are video clips and photos of whales being harpooned, slaughtered and dragged onto ships and cut up.
  • Numerous sharks are stabbed and killed for their fins. Thousands of fins litter a footpath. Other kills are displayed as trophies.
  • There are graphic images of sea life being mutilated and caught in nets.

Sexual references

None noted.

Alcohol, drugs and other substances

None noted.

Nudity and sexual activity

None noted.

Product placement

The Map to Paradise features the PADI diving program, which has been used to successfully train many dive masters in Palau as part of a community and environmental development program. Some people wear hats and t-shirts with the PADI logo.

Coarse language

The Map to Paradise has one example of coarse language, when someone says, ‘What the heck?’

Ideas to discuss with your children

The Map to Paradise is an educational documentary about what’s happening to the world’s oceans, seen from several different perspectives. The documentary makers use animation, interviews and historical footage to build the movie’s message. The movie is best suited to older children and adults.

The main messages from this movie are that we have done terrible things to our ocean ecosystems, but if we make some simple changes, we might be able to reverse much of the damage. Also, each of us has a role to play in helping with recovery, and if we work together wonderful things can happen.

Values in this movie that you could reinforce with your children include dedication, sustainability, hope, courage, persistence and determination.

This movie could also give you the chance to talk with your children about the importance of:

  • conservation and doing the right thing for the environment, because whatever we do to the world, we ultimately do to ourselves
  • ocean protection and enforcing tough penalties for people who break protection laws
  • the empowerment of women and the important role that they can play, especially in island nations.