The Last Giants – When the Sea is dying
by Mario Müller
Text: edited by Yvonne Zollinger
Photo: Herwarth Voigtmann
Finally, the long-awaited moment has come: the documentary “The Last Giants” directed by Daniele Grieco is coming to the big screen. On Wednesday, September 16th the film will premier in Berlin and on September 17th the film will be released in cinemas throughout Germany.
The documentary tells the story of the Swiss-native Katharina Heyer, who noticed over a decade ago that whales and dolphins lived in the Strait of Gibraltar. She realized that not much was known about these creatures and in order to protect them, the fashion designer transformed her life and moved to Tarifa to establish firmm(the foundation for information and research onmarine mammals).
Unfortunately the Strait is not only home to hundreds of whales and dolphins, but it is also a chokepoint for the global flow of goods with a unique concentration of international shipping traffic. In the Strait - where the modern transportation routes of cargo ships and the ancient trails of the marine mammals meet - there is often a showdown between man and beast. The result is that whales are repeatedly hit by boats or gored by boat propellers, are poisoned by pollution, or are stranded by disorienting underwater noises.
Katharina Heyer’s fight compares to that of David and Goliath. Although she faces ongoing resistance, she pursues her goal to help the animals. “The Last Giants” documents with fascinating images her indefatigable commitment to save the last giants of the sea.
Daniele Grieco and his film crew spent many months in Tarifa shooting the film. During this time they not only encountered numerous whales and dolphins, but also interviewed many people living in the Strait of Gibraltar. Grieco, producer, director, and author, studied marine biology in Naples and then worked as a radio reporter for the WDR (West German Broadcast). He attended film school and gained experience as a writer and assistant director in Cologne. “The Last Giants” is his first film.
Watch the trailer here:
“The Last Giants”, Spiegel Online, 14.08.2009
Homepage of The Last Giants.