Blackfish full movie review - Free Tilly! Blackfish is a pretty good movie.
Directed by Gabriela Cowperthwaite, Blackfish focus on the history of Orcas AKA Killer Whales in captivity such as SeaWorld and the back-stage drama interacting with human trainers in entertaining water works stunt shows.
The film does make a good persuasive case against keeping these creatures in captivity for the purposes of human entertainment by highlighting many incidents of human trainers getting killed, or attack during these shows over the years. It's seem to happen to other marine life parks in the past as well, as the movie shows with examples such as Sealand of the Pacific in Canada and Loro Parque in Spain. I wish they talk about the attacks on Miami Seaquarium and Marineland. They also show how badly this marine parks are run. Marineland at Canada was one of the worst, as a large number of whale die due to bad treatments of the animals. That park should had been talk in the film. I don't think the documentary is all against having animals in captivity as animal rights activists think the film is showing. In my opinion, the producers is against Seaworld treating these creatures as if a circus act. The movie does paint SeaWorld into a negative light. I really doubt that SeaWorld only care about profit, but I do agree they do need to be reform. SeaWorld does serve a purpose for the public in educating them, and do scientific research about Marine life and do treat their whales better than other marine parks. The film fails to reference that they do help rehabilitating some animals back into the wild, while also keeping the animals that might not be able to survive in the wild, alive. A good example of this is Miracle, a sick, starved orphan whale found in 1977 that found a new life in SeaWorld parks. Plus, not all the whales are used in shows, at all. Most are kept there. I'm not against having animals in zoos, but I don't think this film is one bit saying 'free all the whales'. About the dangers, the trainers knows damn well, that their jobs might be dangerous and they are willing to take all the risk. I do have to agree, that certain whale with aggression shouldn't be in water works shows at all. SeaWorld has a long history of ignoring this. I wish the documentary would talk more about the attacks of Kandu V, Hugo, Orky II, and Kasatka. It would show that many marine parks ignored the safety of their trainers, by having them deal with dangerous whales not only SeaWorld. Even the great Shamu had an accident with a human, but it wasn't mention in the film, just the film footage was shown. The film mostly focus on the history of one Orca, named Tilikum whom been involved in the deaths of three individuals in the past who been bully by other whales, and abuse by his handlers. The film argues that the reasons why the whale tend to more dangerous in captivity, than in the wild is because how the creatures are raise. Whales in captivity tend to live be more stressful because of the training, harassed by fellow captive whales that isn't family to them, left in dark tanks for hours, and the lack of large free range pools. I think the film could had discussion this, with better examples such as the history of Lolita and Kshamenk. Both whales has suffer much due to these reasons. I have to agree with most of the film statements. As of this writing, no killer whale in the wild has cause a human life. What the film falls to mention is that the wild whale that interact with humans are mostly 'resident' whales that tend to live in areas with large fishing areas. They are used to human contract. They tend to be less violent than 'transient' killer whales that tend to travel large distances and mostly live in the open ocean where human contract is less likely. I also didn't like how the movie point that the John Sillick accident was due to whale aggression. John Sillick accident wasn't cause by the whales wanting to hurt him. Another trainer miscue the act, and signal the whale to breach. It was clearly the trainer's fault, not whale aggression there. Some facts in the film are indeed inaccurate and misleading. Was the film exploiting a tragedy? Somewhat, but the issues of whale captivity has been in question, long before Dawn Brancheau's death in 2010 in such films like 2008's Lolita- slave to entertainment. Overall: the interview with former trainer was informative, but they do admit that they are not qualified to understand the traumatized psychosis of these creatures. The film forget to discussion, that the reason why whale die in captivity younger than in the wild is due to diseases, not psychology breakdowns. Still, it's hard to get a clear understanding what go through these creatures mind during a show. The showcase of history of capture of baby whale getting separate from their mother was heart-breaking. I do think that SeaWorld should not take captive-born babies or help promote whale kidnapping in Iceland. The use of attack film footage was well done and intense and not use in bad taste. Still, not worth seeing this movie with little children unless age-appropriate. The film does feel a bit cloyingly attached to appeal to our emotions to side with the whales. I think it made the film more interesting. Yes, it was a bit one-sided journalism documentary, but I came out learning more than I came into the film. I like how it was aired on CNN for free. In my opinion, killer whale are wild animal just like any other. Killer being the keyword. They are not pure evil like 1977's Orca or kid friendly like 1966's Namu or 1993's Free Willy. They can still harm you, like any animal. So be caution if dealing with them.