Cert: 15 Runtime: 83 mins Director: Gabriela Coperthwaite Cast: Tilikum, Dave Duffus, Kim Ashdown, Ken Balcomb and Samantha Berg
Never capture what you can’t control
Blackfish has been on the list for a few months now, I have always been fascinated by Orcas in the wild and hopefully I can go whale watching one day. But as a kid my parents took me and my sister to Sea World in Orlando. For me this is the closest I have been to see Orcas. As I grew older for me personally I felt it was wrong to keep these majestic animals in these tanks. I will go down the line even more and say I disagree that Dolphins are kept like this and trained to be entertainers. I was in Madrid in 2012 with my better half and I felt rather uncomfortable going to see a dolphin show at the Madrid Zoo. But I didn’t really want to get into an argument on vacation. So anyway what is Blackfish? It tells the story of Tilikum ( a whale that I have seen in captivity), a notoriously aggressive orca that killed three people while in captivity. Director Gabriela Cowperthwaite uses shocking footage and emotional interviews to present a convincing case against keeping these wild animals for human entertainment.Watching this film, makes you think, makes you care, makes you want to take a stand and try to do something about some important issue. It might be the one explored in this chilling documentary, based on a series of incidents that have plagued one famous water park, and most importantly, dealing with the atrocities that might have been committed against one of this world’s most mysterious species.
In addition to that there is the disbelief and suspense, as stories are told about the potential catastrophic consequences of working on this environment.This very educational film moves at a beautiful pace, with excellent editing and smart use of its sources, presentation of perspectives, and the simple delivery of factual documentation, sometimes in the form of visuals, testimonies, and a magnificent “screenplay” or written support to show how Orcas are taken from their natural habitats, experience shocking adjustments in their new environments, and eventually might become unstable to say the least, causing much harm to those work with them. “Blackfish” shows how several people have been injured, and the fact is very clear that there might be reckless actions leading to these events, but what will surprise you is who are the reckless and insensitive parties here.There are several people giving testimony here, and as usual people might offer arguments against these presentations. What impressed me is the brevity and objectivity of the way the observations are related. There is very little room to invalidate what we are listening to, and most importantly, there are a few incidents which we are able to witness, as if we were sitting in the audience, leaving almost no room to misinterpretation.
Certainly, these are the moments where you will feel those chills going up and down your spine, and don’t be surprised if you go speechless or feel a tear or two coming out of your eyes, as you see or hear some sad laments, or a good person’s lifeline threatened or extinguished in front of you.By the end you will have become familiarized with some whales’ names, and most likely will never be able to forget your initial reaction to the story of their plight. You will want to go back and research on your own how a couple of trainers, with different levels of experience similar conclusions.Of course, you want to hear all the sides to the story, but it becomes clear over the unfolding of the stories that the chance has been given, and through some transcripts references what one of the parties is saying by keeping quiet. It’s interesting to note that humans go through cycles, and we might be able to wake and do something to improve situations like these. The question is whether the solution will have a more definite impact and be more positive and permanent.