This dramatic film is designed to excite viewers’ interest and to engage them with a multi-layered story that touches on history, heritage, culture, modern development, the environment, technology and the dreams of Ali, an adventurous schoolboy. The lead actor is in real-life 12 year-old Emirati boy who has never acted before. His performance is quite mesmerising, persuading the audience to suspend their disbelief as what appears to be an episode of ‘Mission Impossible’ unfolds before them.
The desperate mission to locate ‘Pearl’, a presumed sick turtle whose satellite tag has remained stationary for several days, brings Ali closer to his father and teaches him some hard lessons. When the turtle dies Ali is devastated. His father explains that turtles consume plastic bags in the sea, thinking they are jellyfish. The bags make the turtles positively buoyant and unable to feed on the seabed. They eventually starve and die.
Ali’s father encourages him to take a positive view on life and to believe in his dreams. Ali decides he has to do something about plastic pollution and mounts a successful campaign to have plastic bags banned in the UAE. His success is mirrored in real life with the UAE planning to enforce a ban on all non oxy-degradable plastics, commencing at the end of this year.
As the film credits roll, half the screen is taken up by documentary footage including shots of the turtle sanctuary in Dubai and turtles being released on a local beach.
The message is clear – the UAE is moving towards a plastic-bag-free future.