Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Big Miracle

Whale tails near Juneau, Alaska
 Yesterday I went to see the film Big Miracle, based on the true tale of three grey whales stranded in Barrow, Alaska in 1988 when the sea unexpectedly froze and trapped them before they could migrate south. I liked the movie, but couldn't get past the fact that I don't remember hearing anything about it.

As you watch the movie, you're made to feel as if this was the biggest news story all year; that it dominated world headlines, held the potential end to the Cold War with Russia, and that Reagan's approval rating and George Bush's chances as a successor depended on the saving of these whales. The movie made you believe that the world sat on the edge of its seat, waiting for the outcome.

But I don't remember anything about it. Not in 1988, and not even in 1991, when I moved to Alaska and saw whales and Greenpeace's Rainbow Warrior ship for myself. Which leads me to wonder whether the story was actually that big in 1988, or whether I was completely self-absorbed with my own life. Likely, it's the latter.

Rainbow Warrior's 1991 Alaska Tour

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