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  • Nov 3-5

The Whale

The Whale tells the true sto­ry of a wild killer whale, an orca named Luna, who some­how gets sep­a­rat­ed from his fam­i­ly off the west coast of Van­cou­ver Island, BC.  He turns up alone in a nar­row stretch of sea between moun­tains, called Noot­ka Sound. Because orcas live in tight-knit fam­i­ly groups and are clear­ly social ani­mals, one who gets sep­a­rat­ed from fam­i­ly usu­al­ly dies. With­out famil­iar orcas near­by, Luna seeks out the atten­tion of peo­ple in boats and on the shore.  This con­tact does not turn out to be sim­ple. As ram­bunc­tious and sur­pris­ing as a vis­i­tor from anoth­er plan­et, Luna endears him­self to humans with his deter­mi­na­tion to make con­tact, lead­ing to laugh­ter, con­flict and unex­pect­ed con­se­quences. The Whale cel­e­brates the life of a smart, friend­ly, deter­mined, tran­scen­dent being from the oth­er world of the sea who appeared among us, remind­ing us that the great­est secrets in life are still to be dis­cov­ered.

For many years we have been curi­ous about what it will be like when an extrater­res­tri­al appears among us. Will things be chaot­ic? Will they be excit­ing? Will they be dan­ger­ous? Will there be con­tro­ver­sy? How will we rec­og­nize this stranger? What will we share? Will this be joy­ful? Will it be sad? Will it be the best thing that ever hap­pened? Maybe it will be all those things. Maybe it will be just like what hap­pened when a lit­tle lone­ly whale tried to make friends with us in a place called Noot­ka Sound.

Inspired by myths, we look into the sky, not the depths, for oth­ers who might think and dream like us. We train radio tele­scopes on the stars, and lis­ten for code in the sta­t­ic of space. But maybe we’re look­ing in the wrong place. So far, space just crack­les, but the sea whis­tles back. And, in Noot­ka Sound, it sent us an open-heart­ed child.  It was as if we humans weren’t ready for him.

Run­ning time: 1 hour 25 min­utes.