Saturday, January 7, 2017
The Boy and the Porpoise
We have no idea where or who took the movie. We do know when. It was shot before the Soviets started their attack on Turkey. We are just going to describe what it shows.
The Boy and the Porpoise
The initial scene is a beautiful day on the Sea of Marma. You can see a number of unmistakable landmarks in the distance. The exact bay or inlet we are looking at is impossible to tell. The first couple of shots are just the sun and water so it must have been in the afternoon. The cameraman is obviously hiding from something that is across the water. He zooms in on one of the tanks the Soviets have moved up in the night.
All of a sudden the camera jolts to the left as if the cameraman hears something and is trying to find it while looking through his viewfinder. Then we see it. What is it? At first it’s just a ripple of something just under the water, but very near the surface, like a fish gently feeding on a bug and sucking it into its mouth.
It starts to move fairly fast and we see the dorsal fin of a harbor porpoise with something else trailing behind. That something else turns out to be a very small boy holding on to the fin and being dragged along by the porpoise. The child is so small that even the porpoise easily carry him. If you had to guess you would say the boy is about four years old at the most.
You can see the boy take a breath of air but it is not a breath of desperation but one of normal activity. Then, he turns his face towards the camera just as the photographer zooms in. You see a look of utter joy on the boy’s face. He obviously is having the time of his young life. He is enjoying himself like no one else ever has. The porpoise is willingly giving him a ride and they both are enjoying it.
For a second he lets go and his playmate disappears and then suddenly leaps out of the water and over the boy’s elated face. The porpoise disappears from the surface again, then leaps once more as the boy reaches up and touches his playmate’s belly when he comes into range and soars over him. It happens again. The boy cannot swim too well so the porpoise comes along side and lets him catch his breath by holding on.
It is a mesmerizing sight to behold and a wonder. Who was this boy? How had he and the porpoise become friendly? How long had they been doing this? Were they both still alive?
The porpoise nuzzles the boy and he in turn pats its head and gives it a kiss that the animal seems to like. The porpoise sweeps around again and comes up under the boy letting him hold on once more and they speed off. The porpoise in front and the boy almost flying behind. Once again you can see the joy on the boy’s face. Then, they dive. The camera searches for them. It follows the path that they would have been on had they gone straight. After a few moments the operator zooms out and starts to pan first right then left searching for the pair. Nothing...it goes on like this for a couple of minutes.
Such a small boy couldn’t have held his breath that long. Where was he? Had he drowned? The care the porpoise had shown for the boy led you to believe that it would never let him come to harm. But, where did they go? It is a film clip full of the joy and wonder of life, yet also full of questions.
Questions that have never been answered. After spending a few more seconds looking for the pair the cameraman pans back to the Soviet units moving in along the western shoreline.
You don’t feel sad when the movie ends. Even though the boy and the porpoise have disappeared beneath the water. The final scene is of the enemy lining up for an assault. This should put you in a pensive mood. On the contrary, if you ask most who see this small clip they are filled with a feeling of joy and hope. The look on the boy’s face will stay with you forever and may even rekindle your love for mankind, it is just that powerful.
No one knows where the clip came from. No one knows who have the filmmaker was. But anyone who sees the clip, doesn't seem to care.