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Under the Whale [James C. Martin, USA, 2019]

'Under the Whale' (2019)

Under the Whale is a behind the scenes documentary of a dance/play performed by teenage students in New York and directed by James C. Martin. It is primarily about climate change and the effect it will have on the younger generations but other injustices are explored through the piece as well.

It is a topical and very timely film but perhaps what is most remarkable about Under the Whale is its anger. It is angry in the way the best of political art tends to be. It showcases the anger of today’s youth and it is also angry on behalf of them, above all it is angry at the ignorance and arrogance of older generations that allow climate change to continue and barrel towards catastrophe. It is refreshing for a film dealing with this sort of serious subject matter to not pull its punches.

Although Under the Whale uses the structure of a documentary it also blends genres by incorporating elements of narrative. This includes pollution imagery as well as a running mystery about a friend’s last words that resolves in an understated but quite beautiful way.

'Under the Whale' is a political piece that is always focused on the likely victims of climate change.


'Under the Whale' was a film in consideration for Short Focus Film Festival 2019.


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