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The Whale & The Raven - Film Review (Transitions Film Festival 2020)

Home > Melbourne > Festivals | Film Reviews | National Parks
by Mistress of Culture Vultures (subscribe)
I am a writer living in Melbourne who loves to devour culture and the arts. Visit me at www.pumptheatre.com.au
Event:
First Nations quest to save humpback whale sanctuary
See The Whale & The Raven at this year's Transitions Film Festival on Saturday 22 February, 4.30pm at Cinema Nova in Carlton.

Book your tickets here to learn more about these magnificent creatures.

Whale, raven, conservation, First Nations, Canada, British Columbia, climate change, whales, bears, salmon, oil, gas, Transitions Film Festival, Melbourne, Cinema Nova
The Whale & The Raven features at the 2020 Transitions Film Festival


Set in the picturesque Great Bear Rainforest region of British Columbia in Canada, this 101-minute documentary follows the work of two whale researchers (Janie Wray and Hermann Meuter) who monitor and record whale sightings and song (sonars) in the Gitga'at First Nations territory.

Watch the trailer

Whale, raven, conservation, First Nations, Canada, British Columbia, climate change, whales, bears, salmon, oil, gas, Transitions Film Festival, Melbourne, Cinema Nova
Hermann Meuter documenting whale songs and sonar


In 2016, the Gitga'at First Nations successfully won a ten-year legal battle against the Canadian Government to ban crude oil mining and frigates from this area. However, liquid gas investors are expected to move in to replace the oil mining industry soon.

Whale, raven, conservation, First Nations, Canada, British Columbia, climate change, whales, bears, salmon, oil, gas, Transitions Film Festival, Melbourne, Cinema Nova
Whale researcher Janie Wray


While this small community needs jobs to keep the economy turning, the threat to humpback whales who regularly visit and breach in the area is very real. The Gitga'at First Nations and the whales are kept central to the narrative of the film, which maintains its authenticity. The film includes interviews with First Nations elders about the significance of the whales to their community and the impact of the mining industry on their culture.

Whale, raven, conservation, First Nations, Canada, British Columbia, climate change, whales, bears, salmon, oil, gas, Transitions Film Festival, Melbourne, Cinema Nova
Janie Wray conducts land research of humpback whale behaviour


The slowness of the film takes a little while to get used too, but eventually, you synchronise with the rhythm of the whales as they enter and play in this pristine environment. There is fantastic close-up footage of these gracious creatures, and you can understand the dedication of Wray and Meuter to continue their research, despite the challenges which come with working in a remote region, whilst upholding conservation principles against the lure of the corporate dollar.

The Transitions Film Festival runs from Thursday 20 February until 6 March in Melbourne at Cinema Nova in Carlton, Siteworks in Brunswick, Loop Project Space and Bar, The Astor Theatre in St Kilda and the Brunswick Mechanics Institute. All films are only shown once during this festival, so be sure to grab your tickets early to avoid disappointment.

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*Mistress of Culture Vultures was invited as a guest
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Why? See and hear whales in the wild
When: 4.30 pm
Phone: (03) 9347 5331
Where: Cinema Nova, 380 Lygon Street, Carlton, Vic, 3053
Cost: $16.00 to $35.00
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