RKS Films: “The Loneliest Whale: The Search for 52”

In 1992 a top-secret project of the United States Navy focusing on identifying the sounds of Russian submarines discovered a strange sound at 52 Hertz decibels. A marine biologist concluded it was a whale singing at 52 Hertz a frequency unique to whales so the thought was that this was a lonely whale. With no other whales to communicate with it was it a lonely whale? The idea of an intelligent mammal lonely in the vast expanses of the ocean captured the heart and souls of many.

Not being heard since 1993 an obsessed filmmaker sets out on an expedition to locate 52 which focuses on a team of crack marine biologists, audiologists and scientist to discover 52. The end result is a bit inconclusive but leads to the possible conclusion the expedition has seen and tagged 52 and that 52 is not alone by analyzing whale songs.

While the chase for 52 is an exciting Loch Ness type search it could be more of a study on human nature determined to solving a mystery of a lonely isolated whale. It resonates with so much of humanity this idea of loneliness and lack of belonging. Is this a search for a whale or an attempt to bridge human frailty that can be equated to an isolated whale?

If you take nothing away from the film in terms of an analysis of alienation of humanity and that of a whale you might say humanity shares concerns that alienation and loneliness is an evil that requires attention.

An exciting chase if you are operating at low intellectual levels. A disturbing categorization of humanity rejecting isolation amongst whales and themselves and between whales and humanity.

The end result of the expedition is that 52 may not be alone but there are others like him.

Also the threats to whale communication being disrupted by the underwater shipping lanes is disturbing. And a bloody historical look at the whaling industry. Why whales tolerate humans is beyond me. Butchers and extreme negligence in modern shipping lanes.

A human emotion of loneliness transferred to whales which may not be too far off as whales are social animals where family and community seems important and their songs are a unifying force of communication and navigation.

At the end of the day an exciting chase for 52 laced with warnings about human perils to whales.,

Directed by Joshua Zeman and executive produced by Leonardo DiCaprio and eleven others.

This United States film will be available to stream on October 12 on Hulu.

You can check out the trailer here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q4zGRKbnVh8

Will whales ever forgive us?

Published by Robert K Stephen (CSW)

Robert K Stephen writes about food and drink, travel, and lifestyle issues. He is one of the few non-national writers to be certified as a wine specialist by the Society of Wine Educators, in Washington, DC. Robert was the first associate member of the Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada. He also holds a Mindfulness Certification from the University of Leiden and the University of Toronto. Be it Spanish cured meat, dried fruit, BBQ, or recycled bamboo place mats, Robert endeavours to escape the mundane, which is why he has established this publication. His motto is, "Have Story, Will Write."

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