November 30, 2012
A Whale of a Tale
Documentary film “The Whale” tells the story of an orca named Luna
"The Whale" is the true and poignant story of Luna, a young orca separated from his pod, who turned up alone in a narrow stretch of sea off the coast of British Columbia in 2001 and refused to leave. The film invites us to reexamine our preconceived ideas about these amazing marine mammals and consider the many complex effects of our interaction with wildlife.
The stars behind the film
Narrated by Ryan Reynolds, and executive produced by Reynolds and Scarlett Johansson, "The Whale" is co-directed by Michael Parfit and Suzanne Chisholm. Parfit and Chisholm were assigned to cover Luna’s story for a magazine article in 2004, but as they explored the extraordinary circumstances and controversy surrounding Luna’s situation, Parfit and Chisholm realized they had the makings of a fascinating documentary with a most unusual and captivating leading character.
Orcas are highly social, intelligent animals who usually stay with their mothers for life. It was natural for the lone Luna to seek companionship—unfortunately for him, it was the human kind. Apparently craving attention and social interaction, the playful, curious Luna tried to make contact with people at the docks and boats along a fjord called Nootka Sound, but his attempts to insert himself into the human world were not always welcome, nor were they considered to be in his best interests.
Sports and commercial fishermen complained that Luna was damaging their boats, while marine life experts and Canada’s marine authority were divided on what to do with an orca who wanted to be with people. Most agreed that Luna would be better off with his own kind and that the human imprint would make it more difficult for this wild animal to join a new pod and return to his real home—the ocean.
"The Whale" celebrates Luna, an inquisitive, friendly, complex sentient being whose life teaches us about the mysterious yet undeniable bond we have with our fellow creatures—and why this bond means we have a responsibility to protect and not fail them.