By Jess Fenton
9th June 2013

In 2009, the brilliant, terrifying and horrifying Oscar-winning documentary ‘The Cove’ shone a disturbing light on the capture, sale and killing trade of dolphins in Japan. Now a new documentary, ‘Blackfish’, is forcing the spotlight to focus on the Seaworld empire and its fleet of Orca whales - in particular, the attacks and sometimes killings of the park’s trainers at the hands of these giant animals. A docile creature by nature and revered for it’s spirituality but Native Americans, there’s no record of an Orca ever attacking a human in the wild, and yet in captivity, there are dozens of cases. These are only perpetuated by PR cover-ups and executives putting their million-dollar investments ahead of the care and safety of these majestic creatures and their staff.


‘Blackfish’ starts with Seaworld’s most recent and shocking incident, the killing of head trailer Dawn Brancheau at its Florida park in February 2010, and works backwards to find the true cause of this most tragic death. Tilikum, a male Orca and the largest of his kind in captivity, is responsible for the death on three individuals at two different marine parks. In everyday life, if a dog attacks a person, they are destroyed as a matter of public safety and the animals owner is fined. So why, when an Orca is solely responsible for taking a human life, is it allowed to not only be sold to a more high-profile facility where it will encounter more members of the public every day, but it is also allowed to be used in a breeding program? Using archival footage, newsreels and one-on-one interviews with past Seaworld trailers, capturers, neuroscientists, marine experts and researchers, this haunting film points the finger of blame squarely at Seaworld, its management and the practice of capturing and containing these giants of the sea.

The heartbreaking testimony of four former Seaworld trainers will shock and astound you to your core.

The heartbreaking testimony of four former Seaworld trainers will shock and astound you to your core as they delve audiences deeper and deeper into the world of Orcas, marine park practices and the endless list of deaths, attacks and near-fatal incidents, almost all of them captured on film.

The mark of a good documentary is one that leaves you viewing the world a little differently and asking questions. Know this, ‘Blackfish’ is a film that needs to be seen. It is also a film that many, including Seaworld, don’t want you to see. Doesn’t that make it all the more exciting?

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