On a remote island in the Pacific, populated by wolves, ravens and two whale researchers is a town with the promise of a second industrial boom. Torn between the wish to protect its territory and the pressure to cope with investors, the town struggles to protect its identity, and the future of the majestic creatures that inhabit its borders.
The Whale and The Raven illuminates the issues that have drawn whale researchers, the Gitga’at First Nation, and the Government of British Columbia into a complex conflict.
As the people in the Great Bear Rainforest struggle to protect their territory against the pressure and promise of the gas industry, caught in between are the countless beings that call this place home.
On the otherwise uninhabited Gil Island, just off the northwest coast of British Columbia, the sound of waves lapping and ravens cawing is punctuated by the haunting whale calls emanating from a network of loudspeakers designed to bring the underwater world above ground. Into this natural silence, the thudding roar of a ship’s engine disturbs the peace.
Drawn to the rich food sources and quiet waters, humpback whales, pods of orca, fin whales, and porpoises eat, play, and raise their young here, in the Kitimat fjord system. These whales arrange themselves, without any aggression or fear of losing out: in their conscious social life, they are ahead of us.
The imminent construction of a new liquefied natural gas exporting plant in the nearby community of Kitimat, BC, promises to bring increasing tanker traffic and noise, with unknown consequences.
Filled with animated storytelling, stunning footage, and a soundscape composed of recordings of the natural world, The Whale and The Raven is a portrait of a remarkable marine ecosystem. Beneath this wealth of beauty lies something even deeper: a reminder that our shared world requires care, vigilance, and fierce compassion if it is to continue to exist.
**This film has been exempt from classification and has no age restrictions
2019 | 101 min | GERMANY
Directed by: Mirjam Leuze
Presented by The High Commission of Canada
Followed by panel discussion