The Islands and the Whales

  • ACMI CINEMAS Federation Square, Flinders Street Melbourne Australia

Dir. Mike Day | UK/Denmark | 2016 | 84 mins | Australian Premiere

WARNING: Contains scenes the may offend some viewers.

An at once majestic and absorbing, The Island and the Whales was filmed over the course of four years in the isolated, Nordic archipelago of the Faroe Islands. When a local toxicologist discovers that pollution from the outside world is poisoning the island’s wildlife, the community is put at risk and must grapple with a choice between protecting their health and preserving ancient belief-systems.

Compounding this, an unexpected visit from celebrity animal rights activist Pamela Anderson and Sea Shepherd stokes the fires of an already complex debate around cultural imperialism, health, the sustainability of food transport and animal welfare issues. A film of monumental beauty, The Island and the Whales is an absorbing documentary that tracks a period of uneasy transition in Faroese culture.

While The Islands and The Whales may be a visually stunning, aurally impressive technical marvel, it is Day’s sensitivity to his amenable subjects and balanced approach that make the film a commendable success.
— Jordan M. Smith, Ion Cinema
In allowing the natives to speak for themselves, brutally depicting certain elements of island life, and shining a spotlight on a singular community, Day has carved out a brave, revealing and morally uneasy expose of a largely unknown nation.
— Matthew Anderson, CineVue

Winner: Emerging International Filmmaker Award – Hot Docs 2016