The sprinkling of tears I shed watching “Saving Luna” were those that unabashedly remark that life is amazing. Luna is a young orphaned Orca whale who adopts the humans of Nootka Sound, B.C. Watching this little fellow play, it becomes immediately apparent how he so effectively nudged his nose into the hearts of just about everyone in that town. As friendships are forged between human and wild animal, the real story reveals itself: how humans approach and interact with the natural world. In that rare meeting place between wild nature and human civilization, do we allow a bond or do we ignore the animal who asks for human friendship? In who’s best interest are we looking out for and why? Luna’s presence causes disruption to the lives of the humans of Nootka Sound, and a deep division develops between them as to how to deal with this child-like killer whale.
Luna’s visit is a gift, and it is a tenuous and precious thing – it is life itself. The film is a biography of a remarkable personality and we are lucky that filmmakers Suzanne Chisholm and Michael Parfit made the commitment to document Luna’s life – no small feat considering they initally planned on following the story for 3 weeks and ended up staying in Nootka Sound for three years.
It is truly the sweet kind of inspirational doc that can heat the blood, and so I laughed when I read on the film’s website in the FAQ section:
“If SAVING LUNA is a documentary, why isn’t it boring?”
I know that the story of Luna is sometimes unbelievable, but it all actually happened. Yes, it’s a documentary. But documentaries aren’t boring any more…The new documentaries coming out these days are the great secret of modern film: they’re actually as fun, entertaining, heart-warming, dramatic and memorable as any other kind of movie. And they’re real.”
HEAR HEAR! Documentaries aren’t boring anymore!
I am pleased to see that “Saving Luna” is enjoying a theatrical release across Canada. You can also watch the doc on CBC’s The Lens on March 31st and April 5th.
And if you are willing to venture further into some extremely blood-roiling factual whale tales, I suggest the Animal Discover series “Whale Wars.” It follows the epic saga of the Sea Shepherds vs. Japanese whaling ships in Antarctica. Here, human division surrounding whale conservation is pushed to violence. It’s head-shaking, jaw-dropping, expletive-uttering stuff. Especially for me, both a sailor and a partner to someone who lunches with First Mate Peter Brown and may possibly photograph next year’s mission. Yaar, matees!