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4.8 out of 5 stars
whaledreamers
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on December 29, 2008
Although in limited theaterical release, I actually had the opportunity to see this visually stunning film in the theater; and what a wonderful experience that was! If you find it playing near you, you should definitely make an effort to go see it that way as well as buy the DVD, as I did.

This is a wonderful film that not only has beautiful photography of whales, dophins & the natural world...it also takes us on a journey thru the past & present lives of the different aboriginal tribes around the world, specifically the Mirning tribe (whale dreaming tribe) of Australia.

Representatives from different tribes from around the world with different cultures & beliefs came together to meet in Australia for "The Gathering". At first, finding common ground was difficult...but as the days passed, they discovered that they have quite a bit in common as far as some of their struggles & beliefs. By the end of the movie they feel they are all brothers & sisters & you leave the movie with a feeling of hope. That it is possible for people to come together as one to change things for the better.

Julian Lennon narrates & appears in the movie as well. His remix of "Saltwater", which is heard in length at the end of the film, just adds to this feeling of hope.

Bonus Features on the DVD include the original opening of the film, a new video for "Saltwater" & a great interview with Julian, himself.

I highly recommend this film for those who care about this beautiful world we live on & would like to see people come together in peace & unity to save it.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
The whales are here to warn us to change our ways or lose our planet home.
Elders have gathered to remind us of our real commitment to Mother Earth
Lennon's music is hauntingly beautiful throughout the DVD and adds to the emotional complexity of the subject. The whale song drives deep into our soul consciousness and made this viewer rekindle an intimate remembrance with these ancient "gatekeepers."
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on November 21, 2008
We all seem to be starting to understand that we are connected. This film explores the connectedness of one of the Worlds oldest people with the Whales and through words from elders from around the globe describe the plight of these tribes, the plight of the Whales and the plight of the Planet and how the loss of any could become the loss of all.
whaledreamers
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on March 5, 2013
Sorry to disagree with all the other reviewers, because of whose glowing reviews I went to see this movie, but I think it's a piece of shlock.

Let me just say right now that I am entirely on the side of world peace, spirituality, saving the whales, saving the few pristine places left on earth, and preserving cultural heritage.

But I hated this movie and only sat through it due to politeness, although it turns out that the discussion afterward, which I was dreading (since I had nothing good to say about the movie), was actually very good and made the whole evening worthwhile. I really don't have a problem with somebody else loving this movie, I just want to give the other side.

I found this movie bombastic, preachy, melodramatic, and pompous, yet another episode of Western white boys pursuing their dreams that always seem to involve adopting some obscure aboriginal version of spirituality. In my old age I am more sensitive to the absence of women in popular culture. This movie appears to have tried hard to include women but all the "doers" and lead characters and narrators are men.

The music first put me to sleep and then got on my nerves, though parts of it were nice and might have been enjoyable in small doses.

I was offended by the representation of the death of the Western interpreter Terry Freitas (may he rest in peace, my comments are about the movie, not Terry's life, work, or death). It was mentioned that he was killed along with "two aboriginal colleagues" who we hear no more about, although we are shown memorial services for Terry all over the world and even an interview with his mother. It turns out, the other two people murdered were two American activists, one a Native American woman (and wife and mother) and the other a woman from Hawaii. Two female "doers" who have fallen into obscurity.

Our discussion group after this movie included two Maori. Neither had ever heard of the "Maori elder" in the movie, which led them to question the authenticity of the other elders. (Not that they meant she had no right to say what she did, the question was did she speak on behalf of the Maori or just herself?) They said this in a much more diplomatic way than I have put it. They also said they saw this as primarily a movie about one man's spiritual journey.

I was horribly offended by the director jumping in the water and swimming with dolphins the world over, which is how his spiritual journey (and the movie) began. Not just swimming either, but petting them. Leave the wild animals alone! Would it be OK if everybody wanted to jump in the ocean and commune with the dolphins? Of course not. Is it good for the animals when people try to live with bears or gorillas? No! (I do think Diane Fossey and Jane Goodall's work helped in the long run but some of their methods were questionable and certainly would not be acceptable based on our current understanding, or maybe even our understanding at the time.)

What are we to make of the clip showing a native woman suggesting that her tribespeople were poisoned rather than dying from flu? Does the director believe that? Is that why he chose to include that clip? It is well documented that native peoples were very susceptible to diseases brought by explorers and settlers, because they had no natural resistance to these heretofore unknown diseases. It is also a common belief of uneducated people that diseases such as AIDS are actually being implanted by the government or some other bogeyman. I felt the director was actually contributing to derogatory views of tribespeople by displaying her far-fetched belief (not so far-fetched for her but in light of science).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on November 21, 2008
This isn't a documentary where you just sit back and get informed, although there certainly is important information here.

But what Julian Lennon and Kim Kindersley have produced is something much more visceral and meaningful than your average documentary. This film is to be not just watched but experienced. It calls for you to engage not just your ears, not just your mind, but your heart; it asks you to connect to the tribes, to the whales, and to the Earth, and with that, "Whaledreamers" will help you to be the change you want to see in the world.

It is about an ancient tribe whose creation myth is based on the whale. It is about other tribes coming together to share this dream. It is about the human tribe striving to make a difference in this world.

The documentary is very well made, the soundtrack is beautiful and the message is urgent.

Watch it!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on November 28, 2008
A rare example, when human synchronicity perseveres above obstacles and achieves excellence....art imitates intentional Deity creation....a deep breather when feeling the unified five digits forming the hand; Director, Kim Kindersley's vision, worldwise elders' insight, the ethereal whale presence, Julian Lennon's Saltwater music and lyrics...and....the healing broken pinky of human destructiveness....

Definitely, a repeat watch.....Grand stand show!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 15, 2010
This movie is a heartbreak and may all the hearts that could be broken by watching this amazing movie be broken so they, for their part could help. So, they, for their part, could inform the world that greed and insensitivity is ruining and taking away what was meant to be our birthright: a home were all life is honored and appreciated.
How do you wipe away the tears of an elder who feels the pain we have/are inflicting on our planet?
The updates of Hollywood, the sales that we should run for and not miss and anything and everything that has/is taking away who we were/are meant to be does not regrow the trees, replace the wastelands un-pollute the ocean and clear the air.
Tomorrow is for our children. What kind of a world we are leaving for them when everything and anything that is our brother, sister and has/is/will be connected to us is vanishing one by one.
The beauty depth and mystery of whales is part of who we are but who we are is becoming a myth, like the whales.
I wish for this movie to be shown in schools, offices and to all who could be educated. The music is amazing.
Thank you Julian Lennon!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 10, 2009
This is mostly a documentary & stands as a testament to the power of caring people when they come together. Thank God the tribe in Colombia made the industry that was infiltrating their land stop what they were doing. A bit of a saddened outcome occured to force such a transirancy to happen though & that was sad. The American Indian tribe that used "thier traditional whale hunting technique" by using a solid steel ship & mechanical harpoon to capture a & slaughter an innocent whale is due to a seriously big awakening one day though! That was so unfortunate & so wrong. The one woman of the Tribe was so courageous to stand alone outside of that crowd of her deluded Tribe & say "NO! These are our Brothers! They trusted us & now we're killing them?!"
The director/producer seems to be a bit consumed w/ himself in a Bono-ish sort of way but I do comment his film. This is a good movie to watch.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 10, 2008
Just finished watching this documentary and said to myself, " What a must see film for high school students on Earth Day". Yes, besides our wildlife, there are cultures endangered so we REALLY ARE ALL CONNECTED. Julian thank you for getting this project done. Students today must look beyond the walls of their classrooms.
The only reason for a 4 and not 5 star was it was a little too long - the message was there and I imagined about five times a perfect ending scene . Yes, the "white feather" ((SEE THE FILM)) is watching over the earth and all its people. Peace, John and thank you Julian.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 23, 2014
This film is beautiful, tragic, filled with commentaries on the unfairness of how indigenous people have been and continue to be treated throughout the world. It clearly, and in such beautiful language (combined with music, both ancient and new), shows our connection to the whales and dolphins in our oceans. After looking into the eyes of these majestic creatures, you cannot say they are simply animals. They are our brothers and sisters...they are our ancestors...they are us! Whaledreamers is a warrior's call to remember our stories...for without our stories, we are not truly alive.
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