LOCAL PREMIÈRE OF WHALING DOCUMENTARY, “INTO THE DEEP,” WITH DIRECTOR, RIC BURNS

NEW BEDFORD WHALING MUSEUM TO HOST LOCAL PREMIÈRE OF WHALING DOCUMENTARY, “INTO THE DEEP,” WITH DIRECTOR, RIC BURNS

( NEW BEDFORD, MA) – The New Bedford Whaling Museum will present the local premiere of Ric Burns’ new documentary, Into the Deep: America, Whaling & the World, on Thursday, May 6 at 7:00 pm. in the museum theater. Burns, an award-winning writer and director, is scheduled to attend and speak briefly about his work. A co-production of Steeplechase Films, Inc., and WBGH Boston, Into the Deep will air nationally as part of the critically acclaimed history series, AMERICAN EXPERIENCE on PBS, May 10 at 9:00 pm. The local première at the whaling museum is free to the public.

The film includes interviews with curator, Dr. Stuart Frank, and features many artifacts and images from the museum’s collection. In researching the film, Burns drew heavily on the expertise of museum staff and associates.

“We are very pleased to welcome Ric Burns back to New Bedford, and look forward to his new film, which will give Americans a greater understanding of whaling history, its impact on the growth of our nation and New Bedford’s pivotal role in that growth,” said museum president, James Russell.

Narrated by Willem Dafoe, Into the Deep examines 300 years of American whaling from its beginnings with shore-based operations off the coast of New England, to its zenith in the 1850s, and finally to its 60-year decline following the Civil War.

Mr. Russell noted that the documentary will weave together several narratives, connecting the whale oil trade with American capitalism and the young nation’s growing global presence. The business of whaling was inherently high-risk, high-gain. Filled with danger and adventure, it appealed to the popular imagination though literary works such as Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick. Whaling tested the limits of human endurance, both spiritually and physically, as the dark fate of the whaleship Essex revealed to a horrified nation in the 1820s.

The New Bedford Whaling Museum is credited in the film as a Principal Location, and several of its staff and associates contributed to the production, including Dr. Stuart M. Frank, serving on the film’s advisory board, with Michael Dyer, Michael Moore and Judith Lund, serving as project consultants.

Seating is limited. To RSVP, please call Pam Lowe, Visitor Services 508-997-0046, ext. 100.

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