Movie Review: Big Miracle

Based on a true story, Big Miracle is about a family of three whales that was trapped near the coast of Barrow, Alaska in the winter of 1988, when the ocean around them froze over. The whales are discovered trapped by a journalist by accident. Soon a Green Peace activist and the townspeople get involved.

The movie plays like a documentary, without too much external drama, and focusing on the lives of the people in Barrow and the rest of the world watching the drama unfold on TV. Reagan and Gorbachev are playing a part, when Reagan calls in the help of a Soviet icebreaker when things get rough. It turns out that freeing whales trapped by ice is much harder than I would ever have imagined.

I visited Fairbanks, Alaska in the spring of 1984, and I have always wanted to visit Barrow. Barrow is the northernmost city in North America.

I have always had a fascination with Barrow and this movie intensified it. I loved seeing scenes played there (and I am assuming they were done on location). Now the question is, do I go in summer or winter? Or do I go whenever I get to Anchorage the next time? Something tells me I won’t find a Hampton Inn there.

Big Miracle is an enjoyable and informative movie about people coming together in an exotic environment for a common cause. I love whales (see the “Cetaceans” blog entries by clicking on the categories link on the right), so how could I resist?

Rating: ***

Leave a Reply