Writers: Gabriela Cowperthwaite, Eli B. Despres
Blackfish is one of the most engrossing, well made documentaries I've ever seen. Its style, consistency, and powerful message is what separates it from other great documentaries. There's sentimentality, but only enough to make one really passionate about the subject. There's hard-hitting facts and opinions from respected killer-whale specialists, making it both educational and thoroughly interesting. There's awe-inspiring testimonies from actual Sea-World employees, who have all had plenty of experience handling killer-whales, and dealing with the corruption of the company. There are jaw-dropping stories that made my blood boil with anger, but also extremely saddened. If I had to pick one film to use as an example of "what makes a good documentary," I'd pick Blackfish without even batting an eye. It is also my choice for Best Documentary, 2013.
This is a film that aims to stop live-sea animal amusement parks, particularly Sea-World, from capturing and using killer-whales to entertain the masses. From showing their methods of capturing the poor animals, to highlighting just how many deaths and injuries have occurred to killer-whale trainers, Blackfish's message is a tour-de-force.
One of the most humbling parts of the film for me was the scenes of the free killer-whales, swimming together in a pod like nature intended. The reason it hit me so hard was because of a story told before the scene... the story of how they capture the whales. Although not as gruesome or shocking as the murderous scenes from 'The Cove' (2009), it is every bit as sickening and heart-breaking to see. There's a real beauty to the cinematography of the film, and the order of the information and stories. Some parts of the film totally correspond with others, making the emotional impact extremely effect. I can hardly believe that anyone who sees this film would ever go to one of these "amusement" parks again.
|Dawn Brancheau, veteran killer-whale trainer.|
So after hearing all of this devastating information, Blackfish should turn just about any decent human being off ever going to a 'sea-animal amusement park.' What's more, it left me feeling very connected to killer-whales, and extremely sorry for their circumstances of those that are in captivity. If you liked The Cove, then you should love Blackfish, which is essentially a similar documentary with less waffle and more hard-hitting information.