The voyage to the Antarctic
of a Norwegian commercial whaling fleet in 1948/49
Fut Jensen (1896 - 1983 ) photo from Antarctica 1948/49In the late summer of 1948 Fut Jensen, a Danish film photographer was engaged by Anders Jahre, a Norwegian shipowner, to film the whaling voyage of Kosmos III to the Antarctic. Fut Jensen joined the ship in Sandefjord, Norway, and in the course of the 8 month voyage he made a unique portrait of the Norwegian hunt for the great whales. His footage and stills photography covered life and work on board the factory ship - Kosmos III - and the fleet of harpoon ships which pursued the great whales. Commercial whaling was nearing its peak and Norway led the field. When he returned to Denmark in the Summer of 1949 and completed his film, the shipowner decided that it should never be released. The film disappeared. All attempts to discover its whereabouts have failed.
But Fut Jensen had his own private film stock on board Kosmos III, with which he made his own film. Fut never released his film. When he died in 1983, it had never seen the light of day - for 50 years his story has remained untold - until now.
"The Kosmos Assignment" is a television documentary - based on Fut Jensen's footage - currently in production by Channel 6 Television Denmark for Danmarks Radio TV. This programme tells the story of the rise and fall of commercial whaling in the Antarctic, as seen and told by Fut Jensen and a few surviving Norwegian whalers - with the advantage of the hindsight of history, and the wealth of scientific knowledge about the marine environment, this production puts the story of one voyage in its historical perspective.
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