In this short, we are transported to the depths of the ocean to hear the calls of whales. Helena Symonds is co-director of Orcalab, an orca research station on Hanson Island in British Columbia, and through this simple documentary, we are able to learn about her work and excitement for the sounds that whales make. At the time of release, Orcalab has been listening to orcas for 51 years, with a goal of learning about whales without interfering or harming them.
Watching this, it made me realise that we don’t always understand animals. We can see how their calls may come more from the parents rather than the babies, but their special connections and ways of life are personal and away from our own on land. The editing of the short emphasises this, keeping things slow and simple, allowing us to focus on the sights of nature and sounds of calm, just as they should be.
Documentaries on this topic often focus on destruction and how we can combat it, instead we are greeted with tranquilness and an appreciation of what we are seeing Orcalab do. Created by Megan Hockin-Bennett, who has been learning from Helena for the past 10 years, it’s beautiful to witness the power that the inhabitants of the ocean have, and how we can treat them correctly.
This short documentary is simple yet truly inspiring, giving us an insight into the lives of whales, and the people who want nothing but the best for them.
Generations Of Sound was part of the Women X Film Festival – find out more