Whaler Boy

Premio Fondazione Fai Persona Lavoro Ambiente Award - Special Mention
Venice Film Festival
There’s an almost fable-like simplicity to this atmospheric coming of age story. The film’s unfamiliar backdrop is captured vividly and intimately.


The Whaler Boy

Fifteen-year-old Leshka lives in an isolated village on the Bering Strait. Like most men where he lives, he is a whale hunter. When internet arrives in the village, Leshka becomes infatuated with a webcam model from America - so far away and yet almost close enough to see across the waters of the Strait. Coming of age in the male-dominated whaling community, Leshka's encounter with this mysterious woman awakens in him a desire to find love outside of the confines of his tiny world. He becomes determined to meet her in real life, setting forth on a dangerous adventure across the raging waters of the sea. Featuring stunning photography of the dramatic landscape, and punctuated by off-kilter humor "there’s an almost fable-like simplicity to this atmospheric coming of age story" (Screen Daily) about the division between two worlds.

"[A] brilliant premise for a movie and Yuryev delivers on that promise big time. His screenplay is minutely observant, unafraid to explore various themes and truly original. First-time actor Onokhov is a stunner. The two cinematographers Mikhail Khursevich and Yakov Mironichev are also making their feature debut with this film and their work is equally astounding. By capturing the endless expanse and the untouched ancient appeal of Chukotka in wide angles and naturalistic light, they’ve created visual poetry that will be hard to forget." ~ Zhuo-Ning Su, Awards Daily

The Whaler Boy is a film about finding our place in the world, universal in its portrayal of the turbulence of adolescence with its first loves, jealousies and yearning for escape, but unique for the place in which it’s set, half-way between two continents, with America on the one side and Russia on the other, the past on one side and the future on the other." ~ Vittoria Scarpa, Cineuropa

The Whaler Boy is a quietly absorbing story from a part of the world that’s rarely seen on screen." ~ Oliver Johnston, The Upcoming

"[A] delicately unusual and visually resplendent ... stark but richly satisfying feature." ~ Meredith Taylor, Filmuforia

The Whaler Boy is an intimate and immersive coming of age story... entrancing." ~ Katie Garwood, The Slice
Not Rated
Russian, English
Philipp Yuryev
Vladimir Onokhov, Kristina Asmus, Arieh Worthalter
Winner, Premio Fondazione Fai Persona Lavoro Ambiente Award - Special Mention, Venice Film Festival

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