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A Life Among Whales

2005 | 57 min

Weaving together natural history and biography, A Life Among Whales is a fascinating exploration into the unique relationship between humans and whales as told by renowned whale biologist and activist Dr. Roger Payne. For four decades Payne has advanced the boundaries of science and activism—beginning with his pioneering work on whale songs in the 1970, to his study of ocean pollution today. With beautiful and haunting imagery, this film forces us to question our stewardship of the Earth and our coexistence with some of its most intriguing creatures.


“With beautiful and haunting images, Payne challenges us to become the greatest generation of all. Saving earth's largest creatures would open the door to humanity's recognition of our true role in the biosphere…"

~ Bullfrog Films


“This is a splendid film. It both soothes and shocks, as it introduces the viewer to the world's largest mammal and to the senseless carnage of whale hunting. Its message though is one of hope. Hope that there is still time to give back the ocean to this majestic creature. But we must begin now.”

~ Henry Lee, Director, Environment and Natural Resources Program, Harvard University


This is a beautiful film and a devastating film. It captures in words and images the majesty of the world's whales while chronicling the life and work of biologist Dr. Roger Payne. It is a cause for hope, as it shows how Payne's work in the 1960s and 1970s led to greater public awareness of the plight of whales and, eventually, an international moratorium on whaling in the 1980s. But the film is also a cause for concern and a call to action, revealing that the international consensus against whaling is beginning to unravel. All told, it's a thoughtful, humbling, and full-hearted film that makes it clear the destiny of whale populations must matter to us all."

~ Jury Citation, Vermont International Film Festival


Directed by

Produced by

Edited by

Bill Haney

Bill Haney

Peter Rhodes

Music by



Flynn and Berman-Branco Music

Eric Grunebaum

Chris Fadale, Rick Rosenthal,

& Ken Willinger

Associate Producers




Jerry Risius

Nikke Bramley & Debra Longo

Tim Disney, Kees Kasander, & Evert Van den Bos

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