No baseball game, barbeque, or music on July 4th? Not to worry. Join the Nassau County Sierra Club for a free family-friendly movie, The Whale, which will screen at the Fernandina Beach Public library on July 4th at 6:45 pm before the fireworks start downtown.
The Whale is a documentary film. While not written or edited specifically as a children’s film, it is accessible and entertaining for children ages 6 and up. Children particularly respond to the film because it has the emotional force of a real story rather than being lists of facts. While the film does not provide answers to all the questions, a child’s curiosity is fed rather than ignored and what they most want to do when the film is over is talk about Luna the whale.
The film follows a lost young orca that uses humans for his need to socialize. People called him Luna. Because orcas are highly social animals and Luna had found himself alone, cut off from his pod, he seemed to think he could make a life among humans. So he tried to make contact with people at docks and boats along a fjord called Nootka Sound, on the west coast of Canada’s Vancouver Island.
Luna, whom the press called “The Lonely Orca,” became the subject of controversy in both public and scientific arenas over what should be done with him—whether to catch him, befriend him or force people to stay away from him.
Although Luna was healthy, and his presence in the area delighted tourists and drew a large number of paparazzi, there were concerns that his behavior was endangering people. The relationship between the First Nations tribe and the local authorities – and how the two groups have contrasting views of what’s best for Luna – makes for interesting conversations after viewing the documentary.
This is not an advocacy film. But it is an amazing story. This film is more mysterious than most and has been described as “a complete emotional experience” because it tries to come to terms with the feelings of a whale.