Blackfish (2013) Review

This is a documentary by Gabriela Cowperthwaite about the Orcas in captivity at Seaworld, the documentary went viral on the internet reaching a huge audience of (in particular) young people. This meant that these issues were being discussed at great length through the mediums of social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. One of the most interesting things about this documentary is that it has got a variety of people thinking about whether animals, particularly Orcas and Dolphins due to the other viral documentary “The Cove” (2009) should be in captivity and should be performing stunt shows at amusement parks around the world. Blackfish follows an Orca called Tilikum who has killed 3 trainers in his lifetime. The Documentary explains the cruel captivity of these Whales and how this can effect the animals psychologically. It suggests that Tilikum’s captivity essentially drove him mad and led to three people’s deaths. Blackfish goes on to show how Seaworld tried to cover this up, blaming the trainers each time for their accidents. Blackfish is a very thrilling film, it has interviews from the people who captured whales in the wild and former Seaworld trainers. It definitely has an agenda in persuading people that Orcas should not be kept in captivity so this has to be kept in mind (even if I, personally agree with this). Shortly after this Documentary went viral, Seaworld replied saying that:

“We object to Blackfish because its two central premises are wrong: (1) that life at SeaWorld is harmful for killer whales and for trainers working with these animals, and (2) that SeaWorld has attempted to cover up the facts surrounding the tragic death of trainer Dawn Brancheau in 2010, as well the history of Tilikum, the killer whale involved in that accident.  Nothing could be further from the truth. To make these ultimately false and misleading points, the film conveys falsehoods, manipulates viewers emotionally, and relies on questionable filmmaking techniques to create “facts” that support its point of view.  ” <– the rest can be found here.

However, I think the question should be asked that if Blackfish really was lying the way Seaworld claims wouldn’t Seaworld have sued the filmmakers?

All in all, this is an incredibly interesting documentary and I highly recommend it.