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Reality, Animals, Series

Whale Hunters - An Untold History

In the twentieth century, whaling ships killed 1.5 million whales in Antarctica, bringing the biggest creatures that have ever lived to the brink of extinction. Whalers from Europe led the rush south and were still whaling into the 1960s. This is the unseen story of whaling at the edge of the world. The Antarctic island of South Georgia is a place of forbidding beauty and spectacular wildlife. Like an aircraft carrier stationed in the Southern Ocean, it was the hub of the whaling industry until just fifty years ago. Huge whaling stations were built to process the whales, for the essential products of everyday life just a generation ago: margarine, fertilizer, and even packet soups. Now reclaimed by seals and penguins – and forbidden to all visitors due to the dangers of crumbling buildings and toxic asbestos – historian Adam Nicolson takes a once-in-a-lifetime chance to explore the world’s biggest whaling station, built and operated by a British company. The series takes a first look at newly uncovered archive film of the whaling industry, and a last chance to hear the personal testimony of the whalers themselves. It explores the epic tussle between businessmen, scientists and politicians that took the whales to the brink of total destruction. This unique film delves deep into a story of our shared past that was on its way to being airbrushed out of history altogether. Read more

Genres: Documentary Duration: 97 minutes

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