A whale hunt tradition in the Faroe Islands that’s long been condemned by animal rights activists is given evenhanded examination in Vincent Kelner’s A Taste of Whale. This well-crafted French documentary does provide some of the grisly “massacre” footage seen in prior indictments of the seasonal “Grindadrap,” or Grind. But it also lets locals weigh in about something they feel is a part of their cultural identity, while Sea Shepherd campaigners opposed to a practice they deem “monstrous” also get their say.
Dennis Harvey, Variety
The documentary lets the Faroe Islanders tell why they do it: the usual arguments of how generations of predominantly men have done it; it’s part of the national identity; it’s better to eat what you’ve killed yourself; it brings you closer to nature.
And then there’s a group of activists, entering the island from abroad, all kinds of nationalities gathered under the Sea Shepherds flag, including celebrity Pamela Anderson. They argue it is plain cruel, completely unnecessary and a danger to the already rapidly decreasing biodiversity. – –
If you can see past the bloody scenes, which are quite extraordinary in their own right, the film is a beautiful portrait of the Faroe Islands, their inhabitants and their dyed-in-the-wool traditions, but also of a devoted group of idealistic activists. It doesn’t judge, giving ample space to all arguments, without being repetitive.
Nicole Santé, Business Doc Europe
Content warning: animal abuse