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The Islands and the Whales


Mike Day

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About the Movie

In the North Atlantic archipelago of the Faroe Islands the traditional hunting of seabirds and pilot whales continues to provide food for the table, but many doubt this way of life will continue. Local species of seabirds are in catastrophic decline as plastic flotsam fills their stomachs and pilot whales are highly contaminated with mercury and PCBs. After spending thirty years studying thousands of the islands' children, local toxicologist Dr Pál Weihe reports that eating the contaminated whale meat could cause permanent cognitive impairment to children exposed in the womb, and may be linked to the islands' high rate of Parkinson's Disease, as well as other health problems. As the islanders come to terms with the health revelations, they face increasing pressure from the outside world to stop the whale hunts.


Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 16
  • Fresh: 16
  • Rotten: 0
  • Average Rating: 7.5/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: An enveloping look at a community whose centuries-old way of life may be ending. – John DeFore, Hollywood Reporter, Oct 8, 2017

Fresh: Mike Day intercuts the angst with serene, swooping landscapes and tales of the huldufolk, mythical people who appear from nowhere to give helpful advice... a strange, melancholic documentary. – Ed Potton, Times (UK), Mar 29, 2018

Fresh: In its depiction of the islanders lowering themselves down cliffs to capture birds or going about their everyday lives, even as the world changes dramatically around them, the film has a similar feel to Michael Powell's The Edge Of The World. – Geoffrey Macnab, Independent (UK), Mar 29, 2018

Fresh: [A] sombre, poignant, almost funereal film... – Peter Bradshaw, Guardian, Mar 29, 2018

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

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The Islands and the Whales
View in iTunes
  • $14.99
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Released: 2017

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