The ants are here. The picnic is us.
— David Simon (from The Metal Men)

Whale is an independently produced narrative series created by Marco North starring his nine year old daughter. Eva plays a prisoner of war in an alternate, dystopian past where there are no cel phones, no computers, and countless rules. In Eden, the people speak a mashup of Russian, French and Japanese. (English is strictly forbidden.) 

A host of characters offer us glimpses into the realities of their daily lives. Every day is structured, guided by a series of announcements – when to eat, when to exercise, when to hide under the table during an attack and when to make a pledge each morning. Conformity is the rule, but everyone interprets these rules differently. 

As a refugee, Eva relies on her imagination to cope with the chaos she constantly encounters, sometimes unleashing her greatest fears as well.

Filmed in the suburbs of Moscow, the story of Whale is set within a crumbling Soviet-era landscape. Abandoned factories, empty roads and cramped rooms become a canvas that frames each character. Shot with rigorous simplicity (literally with just one lens) the visual style of Whale is simultaneously sparse and lush.

Told without exposition, the narrative voice of Whale is a literary one.  Several multi-layered narratives weave into a cohesive whole, offering the ugly, chaotic truths of a country at war. Taking inspiration from the celebrated series The Wire, North invites viewers into his minimalistic, insightful visual novel without apology, cliffhangers or underscoring to pull at their heartstrings.  

 

read The Metal Men