For anyone who can only have been in a coma for the last few months, and therefore not know about this outstanding film, Blackfish is the story of a 12,000lb bull orca, captured from Icelandic waters over 3 decades ago. His purpose in life has been degraded to that of a circus clown and sperm donor. Spending much of his time listlessly floating at the surface of his tiny pool, chronically sick and dependent on humans to take care of him ~ as well we should, as many of his problems are directly caused by us ~ he seems to just be waiting to die. Not the life that Mother Nature intended for this most majestic son of the sea, and one that he can never completely leave. Only in death will he ever truly regain the freedom we stole from him.
It’s an emotional film, let’s get that straight, but not in a Disney/Hollywood way. The emotion comes from the people who worked with Tilikum, they clearly have a massive amount of genuine affection for him and when a grown man sheds tears for a friend, be it human or cetacean, it’s emotional. When describing the despair of Kasatka over the inhumane removal of her calf Takara, it’s emotional. When talking about Dawn Brancheau and her untimely death, it’s emotional.
It is NOT, however, an anti-SeaWorld propaganda movie, however much the pro-captivity brigade might wish to portray it. It points out, quite clearly what SeaWorld does, with and to, not only it’s orca but also it’s orca trainers and how, in a time of immense crisis, SeaWorld chose to place the blame of the death of Dawn Brancheau on Dawn herself, thereby trying to exonerate corporate SeaWorld from any involvement. “If Dawn were here now” drones the SeaWorld mouthpiece “she would be the first to admit she made a mistake”….
It passes no real judgment and assumes that the audience are mature enough to watch the movie and decide for themselves about orca in captivity, and SeaWorld’s treatment of them. It doesn’t tell you what to think, it advises you that there is an alternative to the way SeaWorld needs you to think.
You cannot watch this and see SeaWorld in the same way as you did before. Even a born anti-captivity advocate such as myself can find new impetus (not that I was particularly lacking in the first place) in preventing SeaWorld et al from ever adding to their “stock”, be it through the wicked act of wild-capture, or the degrading procedure of artificial insemination.
I would hate to be a SeaWorld fan right now. This movie and it’s repercussions must scare the living daylights out of them, and I highly commend anyone who is pro-captivity and actually sits down and watches this beautifully crafted and tragic movie. It isn’t “full of lies” it doesn’t “hurt Dawn’s memory” and it somehow manages to be disrespectful to no one, while making absolutely sure that the viewer knows that what they are watching is a corporation that puts the health and safety of both orca and trainer a long way behind the need to keep the money rolling in.
The only reason that you can possibly give for not watching this movie is if you are certified dead. It is, by far, the most anticipated film of 2013 and the only disappointment is in the fact that there is no happy ending.