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The Volcano: Rescue from Whakaari Review

Human beings have always had the urge to know everything, they want to explore every corner of the planet to understand what is there and leave no stone unturned, however that comes with a cost especially when people are willing to risk their lives to visit an active volcano never knowing when it’s next going to explode.

Whakaari is a volcano off New Zealand that has a very active past and seems to blow every 3 to 4 years. It has been noted that in the 2010s it often exploded at night when tourists would not be on the the island, however this one fateful day in 2019 the volcano erupts and unfortunately kills 22 people with many others dealing with the ramifications of this eruption, and in this documentary we get to speak to the survivors of it and how it has affected their lives.

You always see tragedies like this and think it will never happen to me, so to be in the eye of the storm, in the centre of everything going on must be absolutely terrifying. To hear the stories from these people who do this either as a job, during their honeymoon or just for a family vacation to then have their lives ripped apart and changed in an instant is horrifying. The volcano itself is very volatile and so you wonder why for so long people were still allowed to visit it and walk along it, it’s not like it’s a small island either and when you see the recreations and the graphics of where the people were when it erupted and what it did to them is terrifying to imagine what you would do in that situation.

As morbid as it is I think one thing that adds to the documentary’s appeal is that it uses real camera footage and audio sound from the day the volcano erupted, you can see the people merely walking along this landscape unaware of how their lives are going to change in just a few moments, and thinking that it would never happen to them. It shows how volatile mother nature can be and how, yes it may be fascinating to go visit these places, but is it really worth seeing something when you’re putting your own life at risk?

It was especially hard hearing from the family members of the people that died that day especially the ones who were just casual workers doing what they did day in day out knowing the danger but carrying on anyway because they either loved the volcano or the profession or just needed that job. The most horrific story was of a man who was there with his family and he was the only one to survive the awful incident, and you cannot imagine the survivors guilt he must feel knowing that one moment he has this lovely, happy family around him and in the next they’re gone.

It’s a very upsetting dark documentary that shows you that yes being an adventurer and an adrenaline junkie and just someone who likes to explore these places is perfectly fine, but you have to take into account the risks that come along with it and how at any moment anything could happen. They have now shut the volcano so no one can visit it again and I believe that’s the correct move, even with things that are dormant or sedentary they can be so risky when you don’t know what you’re doing, and at the end of the day you do have to weigh up is this experience worth the risk on my life or can I just enjoy it from afar?

What do you think of the documentary?

Until next time.

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