Coming Attractions,  Documentary Film Review,  entertainment,  Film Reviews

The Loneliest Whale Sings His Way into Hearts of Millions

In 1989 the U.S. Navy detected a mysterious signal in the Pacific Ocean. Picked up by a top secret, Cold War-era surveillance system designed to track enemy submarines, this sound vibrated through the depths at a staggering 52 hertz. The noise was definitely not a submarine. It had never be seen and there was no knowledge as to whether it was the first of the last of its kind.

What do we really know about whales other than tales and forklore shared to us as kids about Jonah in the belly of a whale, Moby Dick or numerous docs that deep dive into Orcas like Blackfish?  Apparently, whales have a sound that is very similar to that of a submarine that is heard from Humpback, Blue and Fin whales resembling anything from a bloop sound to a lower type of noise.  When Oceanographer Bill Watkins was asked to categorize what was being heard under the surface things got real interesting resulting in the search for 52Hz.

Audiences become privy to the fact that whales have a dialect all their own which is somewhere between creepy, yet hauntingly beautiful.  A sound that inspired a multi-platinum hit record ‘Songs of the Humpback,’ kicking off a campaign from hundreds of activists, resulting in a halt to the nearly 130,000 whales being slaughtered yearly. Whale songs were first identified in the 50s, and while sailors attributed these haunting sea melodies to mermaids, scientists were the first to correctly identify whale songs, while listening for Russian submarines in Bermuda.

Directed by Joshua Zeman and beautifully captured cinematically by Nelson Hume and Alan Jacobsen, The Loneliest Whale: The Search for 52 delves into the psyche of this misunderstood creature and how its sheer existence has changed humanity. Through discovering that they could sing made people care and when when people care they can change the world.

As humans, we often times need to be reminded that all animals are social beings.  They need their tribe and interaction to be mentally and physically stimulated.  Whales are no different.  One of my favorite moments was watching these scientists play music for 52 in the same manner a dog owner will leave a television on to entertain their pet with hopes of the mysterious creature resurfacing.  Alas, there was no such luck until a year and two days after the initial expedition, somewhere off point conception 52 was found.

This doc is educational, fascinating and proof that  at the end of the day, all beings with a pulse need a love and tenderness.  Produced by Bleecker Street, The Loneliest Whale can be seen in theaters and via Apple TV, Prime Video and Vudu.

I love, love love movies, watching them and discussing them...thus the birth of The Curvy Film Critic!!! Host/Producer/FilmCritic-Expert, I am an member of such esteemed organizations as Critics Choice Association, African American Film Critics Association, Online Association of Female Film Critics and Alliance of Women Film Journalists. My op-eds or features have been seen in VARIETY, RogerEbert.com, Maltin on Movies, as well as being a frequent Guest Contributor to Fox 11-LA, NPR, Good Day LA, Turner Classic Movies, KCRW Press Play with Madeline Brand and Cherry Picks. Catch my reviews on The Curvy Critic with Carla Renata - LIVE!!! Mondays 5pm PST via You Tube or Facebook Live. If you like what you read please shout me out and subscribe to The Curvy Critic on YouTube. You can chat with me across all social media platforms @TheCurvyCritic and as always, thanks for supporting a sista'

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: