Blackfish

First Hit: Extremely powerful film about why we need to stop using animals, in this case Orcas, for our amusement and profit.

The story starts with a tragic event of Orca trainer Dawn Brancheau being killed by Tilikum an Orca in an Orlando, Florida Sea World show.

Tilikum had a history of being a little aggressive towards humans (out of frustration?) because of the constant attacks (scraping) he received from other female Orcas he was penned up with.

The film also notes that this frustration may have also derived from the life it had to live. One of the worst parts is that with a history of behavior no trainer knew of how how many times penned Orcas have attacked humans. 

An interesting additional note is that in the wild there are no reports of Orcas being aggressive towards humans. The film explores the possibility that Orcas have a unique and powerful social system, feelings, and are extremely intelligent.

The story of how captive Orcas are captured as small babies, ripped away from their mothers, and made to live in small pools of water is simply disastrous and heartbreaking. Many of the people featured in this film are former capturer’s of these mammals and trainers of the fluid black beauties and help to make this film come alive as their regret and shame for not seeing the truth earlier, drove the film’s point home.

Everyone thinking of going to a trained Orca or porpoise/dolphin show needs to see this film and then decide whether they want to promote this cruelty. A bit of information from the film that startled me:  Less than 1% of all wild and free male Orcas have a bent (flopped over) dorsal fin while almost 100% of captured male Orcas have this problem.

Gabriela Cowperthwaite and Eli B. Despres wrote this powerful exposing film while Cowperthwaite directed this perfectly. I also want to applaud the interviewees for sharing their truth.

Overall:  A must see.