Blackfish: A Review & Five Questions

My favorite animal has always been the Orca, which is better known as the Killer Whale. As a kid I begged my mom to go see Free Willy and watched it on VHS a thousand times. My room was cluttered with plastic Killer Whales and books on marine mammals. Hell, I even knew that Killer Whales are in the Dolphin family. So when I heard about this documentary, I knew I had to see it.

Blackfish touches on various topics about Orcas in captivity. They include: trainer/whale relationships, capturing practices, history, SeaWorld lawsuits, etc. However, the main subject is Tilikum the whale. The movie tells the story of his life from the time he was captured to present day. SPOILER: His life is utterly horrible and SeaWorld is the worst. Blackfish has to be one of the most depressing documentaries that I’ve seen. You really feel bad for Tilikum and all the other in captivity. Especially, when trainers tell stories of a young Tilikum being terrorized by larger whales. You’ll also feel bad for the interviewed trainers because they really care for the whales. Throughout the film you’ll see accidents and attacks that involved the trainers. There are some pretty scary clips, but nothing gruesome.

Here are five questions I about the documentary:


  1. How pissed off is SeaWorld?


  2. Why didn’t they interview any trainers that survived killer whale attacks? Maybe SeaWorld paid them to keep their yaps shut. I thought it would’ve been interesting to see the man who was crushed between two whales.

  3. Who on Earth still goes to SeaWorld? The short answer is MidWestern yokels.

  4. Did anyone else know that there is a SeaWorld in San Antonio?

  5. Once again, how pissed off is SeaWorld?

Even though it might be a downer, I highly recommend watching this documentary. It’s very well made and steers away from being just another “big corporations are pure evil” documentary. You’ll be hit with a lot of emotions and have new respect for wildlife. I walked out the theater never wanting to go to SeaWorld or any place that houses captive animals.

Here’s an interesting tidbit: Free Willy was released 20 years ago! Yes, feel old.



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