© Universal Pictures International Germany GmbH

Der Ruf der Wale (Big Miracle)
U.S.A./U.K. 2012

Opening 16 Feb 2012

Directed by: Ken Kwapis
Writing credits: Jack Amiel, Michael Begler, Thomas Rose
Principal actors: Drew Barrymore, John Krasinski, John Pingayak, Ahmaogak Sweeney, John Chase

Perhaps you remember the big news story in 1988 where three whales were trapped in a water hole that was about to freeze over in Barrow, Alaska? I remember it well since it happened right before the Valdez ship disaster in the same region. If you were in Germany, you probably didnít hear about it since Germanyís cameras were reporting on the USSR to find out how history would change this country. But this film also touches on the former Cold war enemy as well but in a very different way.

Small-town news reporter Adam Carlson (John Krasinski) comes across a group of whales whose time is running out. Winter is approaching, temperatures are dropping and a whale pair along with their baby is desperately trying to keep an opening for the oxygen that they need while the water continues to freeze. Carlson watches his small story turn into a whale of a story which travels across America and touches people in the most unlikely places who are willing to give a helping hand.

Based on the book Freeing the Whales by Tom Rose, this film does not only tell about the technical hardships but also the political and ethnic challenges that were facing the various groups who were trying to save them. Head of GreenPeace, Rachel Kramer (Drew Barrymore), with her over zealous personality, desperately wants to save them but has a way of stomping on peopleís feet enough to the point that itís hard to get any one to lend a hand. Itís a great film for kids since they can learn how important it is to fight for the things that really matter and not to give up until you find the right solution. What I really liked about this film was to see different people, who normally canít stand each other, but in the end were willing to put their differences aside to do the right thing. (Shelly Schoeneshoefer)

The theaters below show films in their original language; click on the links for showtimes and ticket information.
Interviews with the stars, general film articles, and reports on press conferences and film festivals.
Subscribe to the free KinoCritics monthly email newsletter here.