A 2018 fatal shark attack on a boogie boarder in the town of Wellfleet, Massachusetts rocked visitors and residents in the idyllic summer community of Cape Cod, forcing them to respond to the encroachment of apex predators. With the numbers of sharks increasing every year, Ivy Meeropol’s expansive documentary AFTER THE BITE explores the repercussions for this beach community when rapid changes in the natural world begin to clash with a cherished way of life. Great white sharks have dominated headlines in recent years, as their deadly interactions with people have increased in the waters stretching from Maine to the Cape and Islands. Those charged with protecting the public have been forced to address the risk of serious injuries with stop-the-bleed kits mounted at public access beaches, warning billboards, the use of shark-tracking apps, spotter planes and new training programs and protocols for lifeguards. A portrait of an interconnected community of people and wildlife, AFTER THE BITE features a range of voices from different sides of these issues and considers the larger question of how far humans can push nature before it bites back. Director Ivy Meeropol (Bully. Coward. Victim. The Roy Cohn Story. Indian Point) joins us to talk about blending into the Cape Cod community of Wellfleet, enlisting the experts like Lisa Sette from the Center of Costal Studies; Dr. Greg Skomal and Meg Winton of the Atlantic White Shark Conservatory, to talk about the science and the lifeguards, conservationists, fishermen, journalists, paramedics, town residents, and activists to talk about the impact of the dramatic changes taking place since the tragic death of Arthur Medici.
About the filmmaker – Ivy Meeropol is a producer and director of an array of acclaimed documentary feature films and television series. 2019 saw the release of Bully. Victim. Coward. The Story of Roy Cohn on the life of the notorious mob lawyer, acolyte to the infamous Senator Joseph McCarthy, and mentor to Donald Trump. Meeropol rose to prominence in 2004 with her deeply personal film, Heir to An Execution, about the legacy of her grandparents Julius and Ethel Rosenberg (Sundance Film Festival, Academy Award short-list, HBO). Her film Indian Point questions safety standards overseen by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission in light of Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi disaster – while observing daily operations at an aging nuclear power plant just 35 miles north of New York City. (Winner of MacArthur Foundation documentary grant, premiere at 2015 Tribeca Film Festival). Meeropol created and directed non-fiction television series The Hill (Sundance Channel), a comedic, behind-the-scenes look at the young staffers of a US Congressman (2007 International Documentary Association nominee for Best Limited Series). Meeropol is also a director for CNN’s Death Row Stories and National Geographic’s Years of Living Dangerously.
“Through the eyes of a Cape Cod community where disaster strikes, director Ivy Meeropol gently moves beyond the spectacle that defines the history of sharks to immerse us further in their world while grappling with many pressing questions on the journey.” – Chase Hutchinson, Collider