Hunting season – the whalers on the Trail

Hunting season - the whalers on the Trail

Of hunting – the whalers on the trail

               Genre: Documentary
               Whales, Antarctica, whaling, Greenpeace,

hunt for the hunter

  A few days before they were back in the headlines: Beginning in January 2010 a speedboat to the animal protection group Sea Shepherd had rammed “in Antarctica by a Japanese whaler as it had tried to prevent the hunting of the giants of the seas. Of people who do the same, also tells Angela Graas’ film of hunting – the whalers on the track, which – surprisingly enough, given the sensitive issue – no clichés and manages the expected black and white painting.

After a prelude in which the Japanese whaling fleet will be shown before their departure to the Southern Ocean, where the ships begin – supposedly for research purposes – they hunt, the film turns solely on the contractors and persists even in this Perspective: Together with 37 crew members goes to the filmmaker in Australia aboard the Greenpeace ship “Esperanza” and follows the life on board during the agonizing period of waiting with great sympathy and curiosity. Quasi incurred in passing, as portraits and miniatures of the crew, we get an insight into their thinking and feeling and what she has persuaded to participate in this action. We know how stressful the long absence (this trip will last for nine weeks at sea) can affect the relationships, listen to their fears, but also by ordinary problems of living together on board, reminiscent of disputes in shared flats – where people together in a confined space, as it was just peo-ple also belong. And not least, there are also doubts about the meaning of actions like these. For the battle for the whales like the race between the hare and the tortoise, the battle of David and Goliath.

Whenever the Esperanza has detected “a whaler and moves to its position, this has long been the slaughter again set. And no sooner are the Greenpeace activists disappeared, the killing goes on for the profit in the whale protection zone of the Southern Ocean again. Moreover, the Japanese work force with all the tricks, the “Esperanza” to elaborate and pointless maneuvering courses to ensure that the enemies as quickly as possible out of gas – a calculation that rises at the end of the trip, unfortunately. While the “Esperanza” return after nine weeks in the home port must be able to pursue the whalers now disturbed her doings. It makes me cry.

Is precisely because the film idealizes the environmental activists but not as notorious do-gooders as environmental superhero, but we have come close to them during the trip, as people like you and I have learned that moves the film somewhat, and almost necessarily raises the question why they themselves can not actually participate in such actions, why people feel more involved – be it at Greenpeace, or elsewhere. The question each viewer must answer for themselves.

(Joachim Kurz)

Title: of hunting – the whalers on the trail Country of production: Germany Year of production: 2009 Length: 88 (min) ( #) Distribution: Leykauf / Filmagentinnen

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