The Whaler Boy

Directed by Philipp Yuryev
Film Movement
2020
93 Minutes
Russia, Poland, Belgium
Russian, English
Coming of Age, Drama
Not Rated

Leshka, 15-year-old boy, lives in an isolated village on the Bering Strait. Like most men in his village, he is a whale hunter. When internet arrives in the village, everything changes in his life. The appearance of an unusual girl on a webcam site fascinates him. The protagonist's state of being in love with an image so far away, the blurred silhouette of a beautiful stranger, leads him to the most courageous act in his life: to embark on a dangerous journey using nothing more than a tiny fishing boat through the raging waters of the Bering Strait towards an unfamiliar world in order to find his love.

Director & Cast

Trailer

Photos

Reviews

  • "There’s an almost fable-like simplicity to this atmospheric coming of age story. The film’s unfamiliar backdrop is captured vividly and intimately...."
    Wendy Ide, Screen Daily
  • "[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