A new review by The Movie Snob.
Blackfish (B). This documentary is a propaganda piece. The thesis: It is bad to confine killer whales and have them perform in shows in places like Sea World. It’s bad for the whales because they are immensely intelligent, social, and even emotional beings that belong in the open ocean, not in small concrete pools. And it’s bad for us because keeping the whales in captivity makes them crazy and dangerous to their human trainers. Most of the evidence presented in the film focuses on the second point. You probably remember the incident just a few years ago when a killer whale named Tilikum killed a female Sea World trainer; of course the movie goes into that incident in some detail, and it also provides some facts about Tilikum’s killing of a young trainer twenty years earlier. The facts are much sketchier about the only other trainer killing discussed in the film, a killing that involved a different whale in a Spanish park in the Canary Islands. The film also features some footage of a couple of other nonfatal attacks on trainers; it’s pretty amazing those two people survived. Sea World did not cooperate in the making of the film, but some of its ex-trainers certainly did. I have heard that Sea World issued a rebuttal, and the filmmakers have issued a response to the rebuttal. Anyway, I’m sold; Sea World won’t be getting any more of my money unless they stop their killer whale shows.