In 1978, the leaders of the environmental activist group Greenpeace UK decided they needed to take direct action against commercial fisherman slaughtering whales off the coast of Iceland. With this in mind, they raised the money to buy a ship, restored it, re-named it the Rainbow Warrior, and set sail for Iceland, running interference against whaling parties, with Greenpeace members manning small boats to protect the endangered sea mammals against fishermen. The crew of the Rainbow Warrior spent most of the next seven years at sea, taking part in environmental protests and serving as a one-ship blockade against those who would sully mother Earth, until French intelligence agents destroyed the ship with bombs; what survived of the Rainbow Warrior was used to construct an artificial reef near New Zealand. A large number of former Greenpeace activists live on Waiheke Island, not far from the wreckage of the Rainbow Warrior, and filmmaker Suzanne Raes offers a look at them and their legacy in the documentary The Rainbow Warriors of Waiheke Island. In the film, former crew members of the Rainbow Warrior discuss their exploits, the motivations behind their actions and the downside of the present-day environmental movement, in which saving the earth is much talked about with little actually being done. The Rainbow Warriors of Waiheke Island was an official selection at the 2010 Hot Docs Documentary Film Festival.
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