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Home > Screenings > Off the Fence > The Witness Is A Whale

Director: Nick Dean, Cheryl Dean

Producer: Spindrift Images, Terra Mater Factual Studios, Mark Fletcher Productions

Executive Producer: Sabine Holzer, Martin Mészáros

Genres: Documentary, Entertainment, Factual


1 x 60’

A thousand years ago there was an ocean full of giants. Whales were at the heart of a global web, connected to everything. They were the architects of the sea, and in places, even the land. The clues are everywhere. In a basement in Odessa top secret Soviet whaling reports are hidden. During the cold war illegal whaling was out of control, run by the KGB, and few suspected how many whales were killed. Now a member of that Soviet leadership finds the original whalers, spies and scientists to uncover the truth. In a thrilling and interwoven story, ships logs appear from garages, attics and cellars. For the first time, we know how many whales were killed, and so, how many there once were. Whales were far more numerous than anyone suspected. A thousand years ago many millions of whales dominated the sea. An early description is of so many whale blows that the plumes of spray made the surface of the ocean resemble a forest. The implications to how we think of the modern ocean, and help it back to health, are profound.