The Whale tells the true story of a young, wild killer whale – an orca – nicknamed Luna, who lost contact with his family on the coast of British Columbia and turned up alone in a narrow stretch of sea between mountains, a place called Nootka Sound. Orcas are social. They live with their families all their lives.
An orca who gets separated usually just fades away and dies. Luna was alone, but he didn’t fade away.
There weren’t any familiar orcas in Nootka Sound, but there were people, in boats and on the shore. So he started trying to make contact. And people welcomed him.
Most of them.
This contact did not turn out to be simple.
It was as if we humans weren’t ready for him. 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.
This story is about what happened then.
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 lonely humans in a place called Nootka Sound. The movie The Whale celebrates the life of a smart, friendly, determined, transcendent being from the other world of the sea who appeared among us like a promise out of the blue: that the greatest secrets in life are still to be discovered.