Pour la suite du monde
(For the Ones to Come), (Of Whales, the Moon, and Men)
“All animals talk, all fish talk,” declares a philosophical fisherman in this enchanting documentary, and all around him, people talk too. And talk and talk, about whales, future generations, old age, God, and the meaning of the moon. For the film, Quebecois filmmakers Michel Brault and Pierre Perrault encouraged the residents of Île-aux-Coudres, an island in the lower St. Lawrence River, to revive a near-forgotten custom: catching beluga whales using wooden staves and the workings of the tides. The details of the process are respectfully portrayed, but the film is less about the hunt itself than about “re-establishing links to a vanishing past defined by oral tradition” (Jerry White). Brault’s camerawork beautifully captures the seasonal and social rhythms of the island, as well as the otherworldly fascination of the whale itself, and the islanders who are fish out of water escorting the creature to its final destination—New York City.