Shirah Vollmer MD

The Musings of Dr. Vollmer

Archive for February 6th, 2012

‘Big Miracle:’ Yep!

Posted by Dr. Vollmer on February 6, 2012

” Big Miracle” is a movie you go to in order to feel good, even though it does not sugar coat the ulterior motives of seemingly altruistic behavior. Drew Barrymore did not give her best performance, as it was hard to be sympathetic to her as a person, but her representation of Greenpeace was touching in her determination and perseverance. She did deliver the most moving lines in the movie. When asked why do we care, she responded by reminding us that these large and overwhelming creatures are also incredibly vulnerable. This theme, that even those who seem omnipotent can need the compassion of others. The movie illustrates this  flip-flop from overpowering to needy in a touching way,  without being overly sentimental.

The movie takes place in the late 1980s, a time I should remember current events, yet, I have no memory for this chapter. Maybe I was less concerned with the external world, or maybe the publicity was small, but either way, it is moving to watch a world-wide rescue that happened about twenty years ago, in my lifetime. In light of that, “Big Miracle” illustrates the power of the media, which is now forever changed with social connectivity. In those days, where the cameras were focused, determined what we could pay attention to throughout the world. Now, everyone with a cell phone has a camera which can inform us of atrocities and sympathetic causes immediately. As such, this “Big Miracle” may not have happened, when this story of rescuing whales would be competing with millions of other causes. Now, it is more complicated to figure out how to focus our attention, since the big media companies are playing a smaller role.  It is interesting to think about, as the “Big Miracle” shows us how a remote town, with three trapped whales, caught the attention of powerful governments. That the whales were rescued was less notable than the fact that  they got help from people who could help them. That was the ‘Big Miracle’.

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