7.7/10
117
1 user 13 critic

The Islands and the Whales (2016)

The whale hunters of the Faroe Islands believe that hunting is vital to their way of life, but, when a local professor makes a grim discovery about the effects of marine pollution, environmental changes threaten their way of life forever.

Director:

Reviews
4 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Documentary | Comedy | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A seriously-funny and wickedly-subversive look at the role of comedy in examining the pressures on women to be attractive and society's desire and shame relationship with plastic surgery.

Director: Joan Kron
Stars: Emily Askin, Jacque Lynn Foltyn, Judy Gold
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  

SURVIVING PEACE delves deeply into the core issues driving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It challenges the conventional wisdom about the underlying reasons for the conflict and what ... See full summary »

Directors: Josef Avesar, Charles Fredricks
Magallanes (2015)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Magallanes, a former army soldier (Damian Alcazar) drives a taxi and eventually a driver of a retired colonel (Federico Luppi), who was in command of his troops in times of struggle against... See full summary »

Director: Salvador del Solar
Stars: Damián Alcázar, Tatiana Astengo, Jairo Camargo
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

The extraordinary doctors and activists whose work 30 years ago to save lives in a rural Haitian village grew into a global battle in the halls of power for the right to health for all.

Directors: Kief Davidson, Pedro Kos
Stars: Paul Farmer, Ophelia Dahl, Jim Yong Kim
Rocky Ros Muc (2017)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.5/10 X  

The story of boxer Sean Mannion, born in the 1950s in Ros Muc in county Galway, Ireland, his boxing career, his emigration to America and the effect it had on him, his brush with organized crime in Boston.

Director: Michael Fanning
Stars: Seán Bán Breathnach, Kevin Cullen, Ronan Mac Con Iomaire
Verdwijnen (2017)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

An incurably ill Dutch woman visits her family in Norway in hopes of reconnecting with her estranged mother.

Director: Boudewijn Koole
Stars: Jakob Oftebro, Rifka Lodeizen, Marcus Hanssen
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

This film documents three families struggling with extreme sensitivities to everyday elements of our surroundings. Perfumes, pesticides, even cell phones can trigger debilitating symptoms in these sufferers of environmental illnesses.

Director: Drew Xanthopoulos
Flowers Movie (2016)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  
Director: Jarrell Crump
Stars: Dennis Adams, Ray Barber, Mary K. Bella
Broers (2017)
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A timid young man joins his charismatic older brother on an impromptu hitchhike from Amsterdam to France, only to discover the time may have come to finally go his own way in life.

Director: Bram Schouw
Stars: Dragan Bakema, Patrick Descamps, Grégory Gatignol
Noces (2016)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Zahira, 18, is close to her family until her parents ask her to follow Pakistani tradition to choose a husband. Torn between family customs and her western lifestyle, the young woman turns for help to her brother and confidant Amir.

Director: Stephan Streker
Stars: Lina El Arabi, Sébastien Houbani, Babak Karimi
Maineland (2017)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Stella and Harry are affluent, cosmopolitan teenagers who are part of the enormous wave of "parachute students" from Mainland China enrolling in U.S. private schools. Shot over three years ... See full summary »

Director: Miao Wang
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Stars: Joan Collins, Michael Heseltine, Sophie Okonedo
Edit

Storyline

In their remote home in the North Atlantic the Faroe Islanders have always eaten what nature could provide, proud to put local food on the table. The land yields little, so they have always relied on harvesting their seas. Hunting whales and seabirds kept them alive for generations, and gave them the way of life they love; a life they would pass on to their children. But today they face a grave threat to this tradition. It is not the controversy surrounding whaling that threatens the Faroese way of life; the danger is coming from the whales themselves. The Faroese are among the first to feel the affects of our ever more polluted oceans. They have discovered that their beloved whales are toxic, contaminated by the outside world. What once secured their survival now endangers their children and the Faroe Islanders must make a choice between health and tradition.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary

Edit

Details

Country:

|

Language:

| |

Release Date:

6 October 2017 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

£500,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Ambisonic)| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.1.94
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

This film has shot over a span of 5 years. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Centuries-old way of life at risk in the North Atlantic
15 October 2017 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The Faroe Islands lie half-way between Norway and Iceland, an archipelago of mountainous open spaces and misty seascapes.

This intriguing documentary swoops in to show the dangers confronting centuries-old traditions in the 18-island chain.

The rugged men of this place scale sky-high crags to capture sea fowl for food, and they marshal to herd pods of pilot whale to a death by stranding and knifing on shore, where the mammals are turned into steaks and blubber for consumption.

Now the populations of birds like puffin and gannet are declining, due to environmental problems lower in the food chain, and news is circulating that there is mercury poisoning in the whale meat.

This documentary introduces us to local people young and old who wrestle with these phenomena with a mixture of defiance and skepticism.

We get to know a Dr. Pal on the islands who tests residents' blood for mercury poisoning and warns about the risks to children's brain development as well as factor that may contribute to Parkinson's disease.

Having grown up in the culture, the doctor has empathy toward compatriots who wrestle with the questioning of age-old values and practices.

This film shows an extremely gory whale harvesting, as men plunge into shore waters with daggers and what appear to be harpoon spears. We watch as they bound into the surf, chest-high blood; such scenes are not for the squeamish.

We also observe protests and admonitions of a US-based environmental group, fronted by actress Pamela Anderson, which urges the Faroes to cease their whale predation and transition toward a vegetarian diet.

Members of the audience at one event challenge the outsiders. If the Faroese turn to eating "cow," he asks, "will you leave us alone?"

The Faroe Islands interest me largely because of my fascination with nearby Iceland. I was curious as to whether the native language spoken there -- most of the language in this film is subtitled --

would resonate with the tones of Icelandic, which I have been studying. At times, it does.

There are also many references to the elusive Huldufolk, supernatural "hidden people" often referenced in Iceland as well.

This film is a creditable introduction to a little-understood part of the world. I hope the uniqueness of the local culture can find a way to survive on rapidly globalizing planet Earth.


0 of 0 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page