The Islands & the Whales – Mar. 23

On Thursday, March 23rd, at 7pm at the Emerson Center, The Bozeman Doc Series presents the award winning new documentary, The Islands and the Whales.

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.

In director Mike Day’s stunning second feature, the Faroese struggle is brought vividly to life. Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the recent DOC NYC Festival and the Best of the Fest at the Wild & Scenic Film Festival, the film has screened at festivals around the world to widespread critical acclaim.

“Jaw-dropping in its visual splendor…In allowing the natives to speak for themselves, brutally depicting certain elements of island life, and shining a spotlight on a singular community, Day has carved out a brave, revealing and morally uneasy exposé of a largely unknown nation.” Cinevue 

“Gorgeous and complexly woven…While The Islands and The Whales may be a visually stunning, aurally impressive technical marvel, it is [director] Day’s sensitivity to his amenable subjects and balanced approach that make the film a commendable success. It’s not without reason that Day took home the Emerging International Filmmaker Award following its World Premiere at Hot Docs. He’s one to watch.” Ioncinema

Day captures the awesome visual power of the land as sweeping cinematography shows the Faroe Islands shrouded in mist and suspended in time. The film gains impressive access to the community, which proves particularly advantageous for obtaining footage of the whale hunt and the harvesting of sea birds atop the ragged cliffs of the island. The real giant within The Islands and the Whales, however, is its phenomenal sound design, which uses Dolby Atmos audio to capture the full richness of the island landscape. The immersive aural tracks let the wind blow and the birds squawk as the film depicts a land worth preserving. The soundtrack affords a sense of being present on the Faroe Islands and right in the thick of the fight.” POV Magazine

Doors open at 6:30pm. Tickets are available at the door or before the show at Cactus Records and Movie Lovers. Tickets are also available online at, where you can also buy Season Passes and 7-film punch cards, learn more about the series, and view trailers for upcoming films. The series will continue every other Thursday through April.