The Loneliest Whale
Film
Film Event

The Loneliest Whale

with cinematographer Alan Jacobsen
October 14

Cinematographer Alan Jacobsen presents this invigorating search for an elusive creature of the deep. Discussion follows.

21/22 Hop Film Event

THE LONELIEST WHALE | Official Trailer | Bleecker Street


The Loneliest Whale is a cinematic quest to find the "52 Hertz Whale," which scientists believe has spent its entire life in solitude calling out at a frequency that is different from any other whale. 

52 was discovered in 1989 by the US Navy—at first, he was only a sound, one so odd that it was believed to come from a submarine. But marine scientist William A. Watkins knew what he was hearing, and until his death in 2004, he tracked 52's comings and goings arduously. Meanwhile, 52 has captured the popular imagination, earning the nickname that gives the film its title: Because 52's sound is unique, attached to this one lone denizen of the ocean, it's believed that he's calling for friends who possibly don't understand him—or for another whale of his specific type who simply doesn't exist. And so this lonely seafaring fellow—the subject of newspaper articles, songs, paintings and probably more than one tattoo—has become a metaphor for our own need to connect and communicate with others.

As the film embarks on this engrossing journey, audiences will explore what this whale's lonely plight can teach us—not just about our changing relationship to the oceans, but to each other. D: Joshua Zeman, US, 2021, 1h36m

Discussion follows with cinematographer Alan Jacobsen and marine scientist Dr. Ingrid Bierdon '03. Programmed in partnership with the Film & Media Studies Department.

In partnership with Science on Screen®

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Black Family Visual Arts Center
22 Lebanon Street
Hanover, NH

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