Blackfish (2013)

Never capture what you can't control.

Notorious killer whale Tilikum is responsible for the deaths of three individuals, including a top killer whale trainer. Blackfish shows the sometimes devastating consequences of keeping such intelligent and sentient creatures in captivity.

This is a documentary about how humans keep orcas (killer whales) as pets to entertain at places such as SeaWorld. It is centered around one vicious attack by a killer whale named Tilikum, but actually takes us around the world as well as into the past. This is not the first attack on trainers, and if the movie is to be believed, probably not the last one, unless measures are being taken to prevent abuse of the killer whales. Abuse in this case, by the way, means basically using them as entertainment. Killer whales should be free.
I admit it, these beasts scare the daylight out of me. Apparently because of how we treat them, because someone informas us during the documentary, that never has there been reported a killer whale attack in the wild. I find that a little hard to believe, but ok, I'll play along for the sake of strengthening the morale of this movie. I actually saw a killer whale once, stranded more or less, inside a danish harbour. It was there for days I believe, and people traveled far to see it. I did as well, so I guess I understand the attraction of this magnificent and scary creatures. Also, isn't part of the attraction the fact that they are scary with a reputation? The fact that some people dare defy nature and enter a pool with them... a horrible and yet, strangely appealing thought. Not because we want to see anything bad happen to them, but because there is a chance it could happen.
As documentaries go, this is solid. It delves into the story of the orca, and also a bit about its physiology. Apparently, these guys are very emotional. It would have been great to have more than just one side to the story, but since SeaWorld declined to participate, I guess that would have been hard to do.
Last words... not a very thought-provoking documentary. It shows some scary images, but never anything truly disturbing, which is a good thing in my opinion. But honestly, just go see Free Willy, and you will see a movie that tries to bring across the same message.

Manny O Productions by Gabriela Cowperthwaite, Eli B. Despres, Tim Zimmermann.
Stars: Tilikum, Dave Duffus, Samantha Berg, Dean Gomersall.

Genres: Documentary, News

Keywords: whale killer whale sea world animal trainer woman director


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