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For The Whales

First Place, Banff Television Festival

Year: 1989, 58 mins
Code: DC-Whales

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Writers, artists, and musicians celebrate the whale.

Having students write an essay on a single theme is a time-honored tradition in most schools. Here's how internationally renowned artists respond to this creative challenge by paying tribute in many different media to one of earth's most magnificent creatures: the whale.

For The Whales presents original music by such leading composers as John Cage, Toru Takemitsu and Adrian Belew; the poetry and prose of authors Margaret Atwood, Stanley Kunitz and Al Alvarez; and the sculpture and paintings of artists such as Bill Reid, Ronnie Landfield and Kenneth Armitage. Rare footage of a Kwakiutl potlatch whale dance is also featured, along with the whale art of the ancient Peruvian and Inuit cultures, while stunning footage of whales in their natural environment reveals the magnificence and indescribable beauty which has inspired the world's artists.

Director: Larry Weinstein
Featuring: Margaret Atwood, John Cage, Toru Takemitsu, Adrien Belew, and Stanley Kunitz.


"Utterly quirky, informative and delightful." - Variety

"An excellent international and interdisciplinary arts extremely well-done production that brings the arts together in a profoundly sincere and emotional way." - AFVA Evaluations

First Pla
ce, Banff Television Festival
Silver Plaque, Chicago International Film Festival
Honorable Mention, Columbus International Film & Video Festival Yorkton Film Festival
American Film & Video Festival


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