3 user 23 critic

The Islands and the Whales (2016)

The whale hunters of the Faroe Islands believe that hunting is vital to their way of life, but, when a local professor makes a grim discovery about the effects of marine pollution, environmental changes threaten their way of life forever.


Mike Day
4 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »




In their remote home in the North Atlantic the Faroe Islanders have always eaten what nature could provide, proud to put local food on the table. The land yields little, so they have always relied on harvesting their seas. Hunting whales and seabirds kept them alive for generations, and gave them the way of life they love; a life they would pass on to their children. But today they face a grave threat to this tradition. It is not the controversy surrounding whaling that threatens the Faroese way of life; the danger is coming from the whales themselves. The Faroese are among the first to feel the affects of our ever more polluted oceans. They have discovered that their beloved whales are toxic, contaminated by the outside world. What once secured their survival now endangers their children and the Faroe Islanders must make a choice between health and tradition.

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This film has shot over a span of 5 years. See more »

User Reviews

A stunning warning to the world about oceanic pollution

Some reviews online seem determined to depict this film as some kind of 'justification' of whale hunting. It is nothing of the sort; on the contrary, it is a strongly environmental film. It objectively, and without judgement, portrays the whale hunt, and - as background - the battles with Sea Shepherd, etc., but the true story is really about a far more insidious, and greater, threat to the island community's existence: oceanic pollution. This is a subtle, beautiful, and deeply moving portrayal of a dying community - threatened by outside forces, but not in the way you at first imagine. Documentary filmmaking at its best, this draws the viewer in, weaves a narrative, and lets him/her reach own conclusions. One of the best documentaries I've ever seen.

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UK | Denmark


Faroese | English | Danish

Release Date:

6 October 2017 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Islands and the Whales See more »

Filming Locations:

Faroe Islands


Box Office


GBP500,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Atmos (Ambisonic)| Dolby Digital | Dolby Surround 7.1



Aspect Ratio:

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