BLACKFISH 1/2014

BLACKFISH – . Many of us have experienced the excitement and awe of watching 8,000-pound orcas, or “killer whales,” soar out of the water and fly through the air at sea parks, as if in perfect harmony with their trainers. Yet, in our contemporary lore this mighty black-and-white mammal is like a two-faced Janus-beloved as a majestic, friendly giant yet infamous for its capacity to kill viciously. BLACKFISH unravels the complexities of this dichotomy, employing the story of notorious performing whale Tilikum, who-unlike any orca in the wild-has taken the lives of several people while in captivity. So what exactly went wrong? Shocking, never-before-seen footage and riveting interviews with trainers and experts manifest the orca’s extraordinary nature, the species’ cruel treatment in captivity over the last four decades, and the growing disillusionment of workers who were misled and endangered by the highly profitable sea-park industry. This emotionally wrenching, tautly structured story challenges us to consider our relationship to nature and reveals how little we humans have learned from these highly intelligent and enormously sentient fellow mammals.

Q-Tips say: A MUST SEE! Not in the theaters anymore, you will have to rent it or download it. A heart breaking documentary told in a calm and composed manner, avoiding any form of sensationalism or heightened anger. Mrs. Q says: Once you see this, you won’t want to ever visit one of these water parks with killer whales again, and might not want to work there either. I’ll never look at SeaWorld the same way. Why do they keep Tilikum alive after all this? Because he is a wonderful “sperm donor”. That means big money for Seaworld. There was another movie similar but about the slaughtering of dolphins named “The Cove”. It won an Oscar for Best Documentary. A good movie for children 8 or older, depending upon the child, but there needs to be a responsible adult there to answer any/all questions. Seaworld Theme Parks are in Orlando FL, San Diego CA, and San Antonio TX. Not sure if they all have Orcas but I believe they are all part of the same organization. Unfortunately, Seaworld refused interviews for it. It would have been nice to hear both sides.

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