Monday, January 13, 2014

Documentary Review: Blackfish

I have been talking with several friends about reactions to Blackfish, many hadn't seen it yet but knew the media hype of it's sensationalism. 

I found this film to be beautiful, sad, tragic, and well balanced for telling a story that has two opposing sides.  The main message that the reviews gave it was that it focused on the tragic death of trainer, Dawn Brancheau in 2010.  I found that it delicately and beautifully spoke about her death, but focused on the treatment of the animals and the withholding of ALL the facts to be the cause of the actions of these beautiful creatures.  Neither did it use garish re-created footage to further sensationalize the attacks, rather there were news clips and interviews with former trainers who were at SeaWorld at the time of the event.

I found myself feeling sympathetic for Tilikum and his circumstances.  At 12,000 pounds he is the largest Orca in captivity and at this point in his life, is really just kept for the use of his sperm.  He performs occasionally, but spends most of his time alone in an isolated pool. 
Tilly was originally captured by the Canadian company, Sealand of the Pacific, whose attraction was located near Victoria, BC. 

I am glad I watched this film and heard the stories from former trainers, their reactions and their experiences with these majestic animals.  This article was an interesting view on Tilly from Orca Trainer Colin Baird.  Go see Blackfish.  Better yet, stream it on Netflix.  

Guess how many wild Orca whales have attacked humans?  



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