The Last Whale heads for the screen

A documentary based on The Last Whale by Chris Pash will feature never before seen footage from the 1970s.

Director Mick McIntyre of Second Nature Films is working with Pash to capture a turning point in Australian history – the end of whaling in this country.

“This documentary will get inside the heads of the whalers as they hunt sperm whales in Western Australia in the 1970s,” said McIntyre.

McIntyre is close to finishing a six to seven minute trailer, which will used to seek funding for a full length documentary.

The documentary will feature interviews filmed with whalers and activists based in Western Australia, New South Wales and Europe. While filming, McIntyre and author Chris Pash uncovered new footage of the 1977 anti-whaling protests against Australia’s last whaling station in Albany. They are keen to source more.

“There must be reels of home footage on whaling gathering dust in attics.

“We’re keen to obtain any old movie footage of whaling in Australia, particularly in Albany,” said McIntyre.

Pash said The Last Whale chronicled the final days of whaling in the English-speaking world and marked the first direct action by Greenpeace in Australia.

“This story has important lessons for today’s anti-whaling campaign, currently deadlocked in international diplomacy and a cultural divide between East and West,” he said.

The Last Whale was released by Fremantle Press in 2008 to critical acclaim. It portrays the raw adventure of going to sea, the perils of being a whaler and the ‘crazy, but somehow magical’ commitment that lead activists to throw themselves into the path of an explosive harpoon.

The Last Whale was shortlisted for the 2009 Frank Broeze Memorial Maritime History Book Prize.

Share via: