The Whale and the Raven
Impact | VIFF Impact
Journeying into BC’s Great Bear Rainforest, German documentarian and cultural anthropologist Mirjam Leuze investigates the potential impact of a liquefied natural gas exporting plant and increased tanker traffic on this stunning ecosystem. Not only are we introduced to the remarkable people who call this place home and oppose the plant’s construction, including whale researchers Hermann Meuter and Janie Wray and elders of the Gitga’at First Nation, but also the humpbacks, orcas, and porpoises who use the Kitimat fjord system as a feeding- and playground.
In recalling her initial 2002 encounter with a whale, Leuze suggests that it sparked "a deep sense of wonder and humility in the face of an unimaginably large being…" Through sublime cinematography that revels in the almost mythical beauty of these creatures (the big screen can barely contain them) and rich sound design that underscores nature’s symphonic qualities, Leuze and her team (including the Gitga’at Nation’s science director) not only recreate the awe of that epiphanic moment but also immerse us in a truly majestic world and craft an emphatic argument for its preservation.