Film Review – Blackfish (2013)


Title – Blackfish (2013)

Director – Gabriela Cowperthwaite (City Lax)

Cast – Samantha Berg, Jeff Andrews, Ken Balcomb, Kim Ashdown

Plot – Blackfish delves into the depths of captive Killer Whales and focusses on notorious male whale Tilikum, a whale responsible for the deaths of 3 human beings.

“They’re NOT your whales. They own them”

Review by Eddie on 13/12/2013

You’ll be scraping plans for the family holiday to Sea World after seeing Blackfish, Gabriela Cowperthwaite’s eye opening and frankly quite scary documentary focussing on the captivity of Orca whales and in particular Tilikum a male killer whale that has a proven track record of violence towards humans.

Blackfish is no doubt a very objectionable documentary where all talking heads involved are against the incarceration of these great beasts but then again the arguments and evidence presented by Cowperthwaite are hard to deny. Cowperthwaite does a fantastic job of offering reasons behind whales acting out and it’s clear to see that these animals have more going on emotionally and mentally than many humans would give them credit for. This is particularly evident in the films centrepiece Tilikum.

Tilikum as explained in the film was captured at a young age and suffered abuse at the hands of other whales in his various enclosures. This abuse and mistreatment has lead the whale to become angry and unpredictable resulting in the death of 3 human beings. The cover up and misleading of information regarding these deaths is quite astounding and ex-trainers of Sea World talk openly about how stunned they were that the truth behind the deaths is hidden in the public. These startling facts and first-hand accounts by trainers are all major reasons why Blackfish is a must see.

Blackfish may not be the most daring or inventive documentary to reach our shores this year and it’s one sided documentation of its argument can be seen of somewhat of a downfall but it’s never less than compelling viewing and deserves to be seen by as many people as possible as an example of humans being humans – that is being to stupid to admit they are wrong.

3 and a half dorsal fins out of 5

19 responses to “Film Review – Blackfish (2013)

  1. Quite a heartbreaking documentary, but yes. I am starting to wonder how much better this might have been if they made a stronger push for getting both sides of the story in it. I can’t imagine how hard it was to try to get them to participate. Apparently it was either impossible or they didn’t try hard enough. Still, what we have is pretty convincing, powerful stuff. I know I’ll never visit one of their parks again.

    • Me either mate, just seems like a downright nasty organisation intent on money and nothing else. Glad you agree on the one sidedness though, it’s what really bought it down a little.

  2. I really enjoyed this, made me cry haha
    great review!
    My only criticism was it was a bit one sided so I agree with you there.
    But it’s certainly an eye opener and made me think so much differently about these organisations
    Great post! 😀

  3. Agreed that this deserves to be seen by as many people as possible.

    I think it’s one-sided partially because some arguments do not lend themselves to balanced reporting, and mostly because SeaWorld refused to cooperate.

    • Hi James. Seems like SeaWorld were probably thinking the film wouldn’t make much of a (excuse the pun) splash so as you said maybe didn’t feel the need to comment. They would regret that now.

      • The reason they cite is that they didn’t believe Blackfish would fairly represent their argument. Shortly after it was released, they actually sent out a press release citing 8 things Blackfish gets wrong. The filmmakers then created their own release rebutting SeaWorld’s claims. I haven’t read either, but I know the exist.

  4. Pretty much summed my thoughts up. I thought the film could have been a little bit better but the result was still engaging and emotional. I couldn’t agree more what was said in the end of the film which was that one day we’re going to look back at this point in time and ask why we treated these animals like this. It’s kind of barbaric. Good review dude.

    • Cheers Thoughts! I to found that statement quite eye opening and when considered it is so true. There is something wrong with us if we find that treatment of whales entertaining.

  5. They did approach Seaworld numerous times to appear but the company refused. Honestly, that seems like a poor decision on their part, as they come across as more of a faceless monster. There’s the fact that Seaworld has done a lot for marine conservation/charity etc which the movie ignores. I enjoyed the film and found it very powerful and everyone I know loves it. The amount of PR meetings Seaworld must be having about this…nice post!

  6. I’ve always thought that these animals are not in captivity for the simple purpose of the money they bring in. They are ambassadors for their wild counterparts.

  7. Pingback: Film Review – Megan Leavey (2017) | Jordan and Eddie (The Movie Guys)·

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