In 2002, shark behaviorist Dr. Erich Ritter was filming in the Bahamas – standing in waist-deep water – when a bull shark bit him on the calf and proceeded to shake and drag the scientist like a rag doll. The incident was caught on film, from above and below the water. The Discovery Channel has incorporated the footage into a documentary that attempts to re-create the bite in a studio to determine the forces at work.
Despite ramped-up accompanying music, Anatomy of a Shark Bite avoids Jaws-inspired fiction and offers a captivating view of every swimmer’s nightmare. The film is especially – unfortunately – timely, coming in the wake of several high-profile attacks in June, that of a 14-year-old girl off the Florida panhandle and the killing of a spear fisherman off South Africa by a great white. The latter incident was the second such attack on a spear fisherman in South African waters in 19 months.
The film is part of Discovery’s Shark Week and is available from Discovery Global Licensing and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.