OK…You first took away my plastic bags and then my straws. It felt more like an inconvenience and less like stalling the impending environmental apocalypse. Admittedly, complaining about bags and straws seems pretty petty when there are those out there doing real things to combat our ecological problems, which brings us to Rob Sorrenti’s The Kodiak Queen.
The sixteen-minute short tells the story of a former Navy fuel barge YO-44 that was one of five ships that survived the attack on Pearl Harbor. After being decommissioned after the war, the barge found new life as a fishing boat and renamed The Kodiak Queen. In 2012, The Kodiak Queen was discovered rotting in a junkyard in the British Virgin Isles.
“…proposed to take the barge and turn it into an artificial reef…”
Upon discovery of the Kodiak Queen, the ship was brought to the attention of Richard Branson and an environmental think tank organization. It was proposed to take the barge and turn it into an artificial reef just off the Virgin Isles.
Narrated by Kate Winslet, the majority of the documentary takes us through the process of prepping the dilapidated ship for transport, adding a giant iron mesh “Kraken” as an art piece, and towing it out to the ocean to its final resting place.
It’s hard at this point not to find inspiration and admiration for a group of volunteers actually putting boots to the ground and doing something good for the ocean and those creatures living in it. Not only that, but the Kodiak Queen will serve as a much-needed science/tourist center attracting visiting divers to see nature healing itself.
“…prepping the dilapidated ship for transport, adding a giant iron mesh “Kraken” as an art piece, and towing it out to the ocean…”
Like any good drama, there has to be a twist. It comes in the form of Hurricane Irma, which devastated and laid waste the British Virgin Isles. Now dubbed the BVI Art Reef, the community now depends on tourism from The Kodiak Queen to help rebuild the island.
The Kodiak Queen does what documentary films are supposed to do—Inform and inspire. Sorrenti’s film does it in spades.
The Kodiak Queen screened at the 2019 HollyShorts Film Festival.