The Islands and the Whales

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DOCVILLE 2017 is voorbij, de volgende editie is gepland tussen 21-29 maart 2018. Onderstaande informatie slaat op de editie van 2017.
DOCVILLE 2017 has passed, the next edition will be March 21-29th 2018. The information below refers to the 2017 edition.

The Islands and the Whales

Directed by Mike Day
Denmark, UK, Faroe Islands | 85 min. | Faroese, Danish & English (English subtitled)

The Faroe Islands are an archipelago in the triangle Scotland-Norway-Iceland. The islanders have been living there for centuries of what nature has to offer them: seagulls and whales. But their way of living and existence are threatened from various fronts. Scottish director Mike Day received the award of Best Emerging Filmmaker at Hot Docs with this visually stunning documentary.

For centuries the islanders live of what nature has to offer them. Fathers teach their sons how to catch the best birds and the whole community looks forward to the reoccurring whale hunt. But due to the pollution of the oceans, the number of local birds is decreasing and the meat is full of toxins. A local toxicologist has discovered that the meat even causes cognitive growth retardation in children and many other medical problems. There is a lot of outside criticism on whaling. Environmentalists come to the islands, determined to intervene. All this leads to a defensive attitude of the islanders, who want to hold on to their traditions. How do the Faroese deal with this conflict of interest?

In addition to the visual splendor of the breathtaking aerial images, interspersed with Day's brilliant attention for detail, it is especially his way of communicating and contact with the islanders that is truly impressive. Mike Day did not make undercover images of the whaling, because during the 5 years he was filming, he gained the trust of the islanders, thus capturing their day-to-day lives from up-close. Without judging them, he sketches their way of life, creating an intimacy that is exceptional considering the controversial topic of animal hunting, nature, pollution and ecology. An exceptional film that is as monumental as it is intimate.

This screening will be preceeded by the short documentary

Ins Holz
(Corina Schwingruber Ilic, Thomas Horat / Zwitserland / 13 min.)

About the director(s)



Producer Mike Day
Cinematography Mike Day
Music Antony Partos, Mike Sheridan