Photos and Video: 'A Whale of a Tale' Screening and Discussion

Asia Society hosts a screening of Megumi Sasaki's award-winning documentary film

What happens when a sleepy fishing village is thrust into the international spotlight because of an activity its residents have practiced and passed down from generation to generation? A whole lot, it turns out — if the story of Taiji is any indication. Taiji, located off the coast of Japan, gained notoriety as the setting for The Cove, the 2010 documentary film denouncing the village's longstanding whale and dolphin hunting practices. Curious about what happened after the cameras stopped rolling, filmmaker Megumi Sasaki traveled to Taiji to tell the story of its residents facing global judgment, a village confronting changing norms and standards of behavior, and the ocean-sized divide between Eastern and Western concepts of nature, wildlife, survival, and cultural sensitivity. Her ensuing project, the documentary A Whale of a Tale, details how a fascinating group of characters from Taiji coped with their hometown's overnight notoriety.

On August 8, 2018, Asia Society New York hosted a screening of A Whale of a Tale followed by a discussion featuring Sasaki and Asia Society Executive Vice President Tom Nagorski. Re-live the night with photos from the on-stage conversation and subsequent reception, and watch the entire video of their conversation at the end of this post. 

Filmmaker Megumi Sasaki at Asia Society New York's screening of A Whale of a Tale
'A Whale of a Tale' filmmaker Megumi Sasaki at Asia Society New York, August 8, 2018. (Masao Katagami/Asia Society)
Asia Society Executive Vice President Tom Nagorski introduces A Whale of a Tale
Asia Society Executive Vice President Tom Nagorski introduces 'A Whale of a Tale' at Asia Society New York, August 8, 2018. (Masao Katagami/Asia Society)
Megumi Sasaki and Tom Nagorski in conversation Asia Society New York
Megumi Sasaki and Tom Nagorski in conversation about 'A Whale of a Tale.' (Masao Katagami/Asia Society)
A Whale of a Tale screening at Asia Society New York
The audience listens during the Q&A portion following the screening of 'A Whale of a Tale' at Asia Society New York, August 8, 2018. (Masao Katagami/Asia Society)
Megumi Sasaki on stage at Asia Society
Megumi Sasaki on stage at Asia Society New York, August 8, 2018. (Asia Society/Masao Katagami)
Attendees at the reception for 'A Whale of a Tale' at Asia Society New York
Attendees mingle following the screening and discussion of 'A Whale of a Tale' at Asia Society New York. (Masao Katagami/Asia Society)
Director Megumi Sasaki at Asia Society New York
'A Whale of a Tale' filmmaker Megumi Sasaki greets attendees at Asia Society New York, August 8, 2018. (Masao Katagami/Asia Society)
Whale of a Tale director Megumi Sasaki and Asia Society Executive Vice President Tom Nagorski at Asia Society New York, August 8, 2018
'A Whale of a Tale' filmmaker Megumi Sasaki and Asia Society Executive Vice President Tom Nagorski at Asia Society New York, August 8, 2018. (Masao Katagami/Asia Society)
'Whale of a Tale' filmmaker Megumi Sasaki with screening attendees at Asia Society New York
Megumi Sasaki with screening attendees at Asia Society New York, August 8, 2018. (Masao Katagami/Asia Society)