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Whale-watching in New York! Go See “The Whale”

“The Whale” is a wonderful documentary screening at Cinema Village now until September 29th. The directors, Suzanne Chisholm and Michael Parfit, are attending question and answer sessions after screenings.

Amiably narrated by actor Ryan Reynolds, “The Whale” tells the story of Luna, a young orca who found himself abandoned in the remote coastal waters of British Columbia. In need of family, this intrepid two year-old killer whale adopted the people of a tiny town in Nootka Sound. He was pretty aggressive at first. To get attention, Luna would dance upside-down with his tail flapping in the air, he’d bump against the side of boats then present his nose for petting, eye-balling friends with open curiosity.

Mostly, the locals fell in love and warmly responded to Luna’s demands. People would seek him out to offer pets and adoration, and the occasional throw-the-floatie-thingy-while-Luna-tosses-it-back game. But the consequences of loving Luna soon stirred up conflict over what people felt was best for him. He’s a wild animal. Is human contact really good him? Should he stay isolated in the cove or be reunited with his family? To stop further socialization, the fish and wildlife service created a squad to patrol the cove and inform Luna’s would-be friends that if they touched him, they could be fined $100,000. Then, fish and wildlife came up with a scheme to (supposedly) return Luna to his family. The Native people launched a campaign to keep Luna in Nootka Sound. People took sides.

Who knew a little whale could stir up so much trouble in a sleepy fishing and logging town?

But Luna had his own ideas of what was best for him. When ignored, he made his needs known. Find out what happened when a lost little boy adopted a small town in this moving, funny story. You’ll be glad you did.

Cinema Village, 22 E. 12 St, corner of University Pl., 212-924-3364. Tickets are $11 and can be purchased online. Showtimes and tickets. Rated G. Film’s website:

Note for kids and sensitive souls: there are zero images of animal suffering or bloody violence in this film.

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