Dori Edwards, Global Animal

AMSTERDAM — On November 20 at the Playgrounds Audiovisual Arts Festival in Amsterdam, Sea Shepherd member and Dutch actor Rutger Hauer revealed he and filmmaker Sil van der Woerd’s most recent creation. The two animal activists created “A gift for Sea Shepherd,” a moving short film that serves to denounce whaling.

In an abstractly beautiful four minutes, actor Hauer is confronted by the last living whale during Requiem 2019. According to Sea Shepherd, “the film chronicles the last whale on earth coming face-to-face with the source of its destruction—man.”

Whales are considered sacred in some parts of Vietnam, so when one dies offshore or by beaching, it often becomes a religious experience. Photo Credit: The Guardian
Photo Credit: The Guardian

The co-producers began their collaboration when Hauer contacted van der Woerd after they first met at the I’ve Seen Films festival where the latter won an award for his film White Swan.

“We hit it off immediately when we first met and we soon started talking about the oceans, whales, and Sea Shepherd,” stated van der Woerd.

As Hauer states, he and his producer simply “had to make something to stop people hunting down these wonderful creatures.”

The theme was inspired by a personal experience Hauer had when he was out at sea. “One day, during a trip in a canoe, I literally looked straight into the eye of a whale. It is something that every man on Earth should experience.  We must not be allowed to destroy these beautiful creatures.”

Accompanied by emotionally profound music, realistic animation and dark imagery, this short film strikes the pathos of its viewers and is a vision every person should experience. As Hauer looks back into the violent history between man and whale that is displayed on the bodily canvas of the large mammal, he and engaged audiences realize how humans have destroyed an innocent species.

Whaling is a cruel, inhumane industry, and this short film artistically portrays the damage that these humans inflict on undeserving beings.

Watch the video below.

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