Directed by Jay Burke
A short documentary about industrial whaling. The surviving footage runs for approximately 12 minutes.
Gambell, Alaska is a Yup'ik-speaking Eskimo community on St. Lawrence Island on the Bering Sea. Here, as on the coast, sea mammals are still the major source of food. During their three-week Spring migration through the Bering Channel, whales are hunted using a combination of traditional organization and recently introduced technology such as motors and darting guns. A bowhead whale weighs about one ton per foot, and may reach seventy feet in length. Working together, even fifteen Eskimo skin boats with up to ten persons on each boat cannot assure a safe venture or the taking of a whale.
A two-hour documentary narrated by Willem Dafoe and featuring the voices of Robert Sean Leonard and Josh Hamilton, Into the Deep chronicles the foundation of American whaling, the tragedy of the Essex, and the career of Moby Dick's Herman Melville.