Forgotten Wrecks
The Black Tears of the Sea

Off the coastlines of the world lie ticking time bombs of which the public is largely unaware: thousands of wrecks, sunk in the Second World War, and steadily rusting away. Researchers estimate that their fuel tanks still hold up to 15 million tons of crude and heavy oil. A threat of potential catastrophe that eclipses all previous oil disasters.
The film takes us to locations where the first wrecks are already leaking. In the Bay of Danzig in Poland, off the fjords of Norway and along the east coast of the USA scientists are battling against the contamination of the seabed and the coasts. There could still be time to safely clear up the “black tears of the seas”. But despite all the warnings, hardly any governments are actually doing anything. In images both breathtaking and nightmarish the film shows one thing: waiting is not a solution.
For WDR, in association with ARTE
International distribution: Albatross World Sales
Written and directed by: Christian Heynen // Camera: Michael Kern // Underwater camera: Konrad Dubiel, Matthias Granberg, Jörn Kumpart, Allison Low, Chris Selman // Sound: Steven Altig // Film editor: Jan Wilm Schmülling // Music: Thomas Wolter // Sound design: Florian Ebrecht // Graphics: Andreas Hougardy // Soundmix: Imke Bartmann // Colour correction: Markus Ohrem // Commentary: Gregor Höppner // Production manager: Katja Sträter // Producers: Thomas Weidenbach, Sarah Zierul // Commissioning editor: Thomas Kamp // A Production by LÄNGENGRAD Filmproduktion GmbH

Award:
  • NaturVision Filmfestival 2017, special award „The City and the Sea“

Running time: 52 / 45 min, 30 min, in HD

Broadcast date:

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05.12.2017 | 08:20 | WDR

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11.12.2017 | 08:45 | arte