Sep. 1st, 2013

Blackfish

Sep. 1st, 2013 03:19 pm
emperorzombie: (Default)
Quick non-Wednesday post to recommend you all watch Blackfish, a film about orca whales in captivity which is having a tiny limited release in UK cinemas but also out on DVD. It covers the same ground as The Killer in the Pool and Blood in the Water, two articles by Tim Zimmerman (indeed, Zimmerman is a co-producer), but even though I'd read those articles, that was nothing compared to seeing the events on film. The film does a great job of capturing the majestic, awesome beauty of killer whales without reducing it to whales as natural killers, or as animals driven psychotic by their living conditions - all the testimony from the trainers brings home that they are intelligent, empathic creatures, and they clearly love working with them but see that there's potential danger in every interaction. The one constant is that Sea World come off badly at every turn, whether it's breeding from a whale with a history of killing people, splitting up their family groups, blaming trainer error for accidents, and there's footage of the guides straight-up lying about the lifespan of the whales to give the impression that captivity is good for them. There's a definite anti-Sea World slant to the film (Sea World refused to be interviewed), but even with that in mind they don't look good.

There's a few clips on Youtube - the trailer, and this is one that had me gasping in the cinema. There's also some chilling footage taken from this video of a trainer being repeatedly pulled under by a whale, who is spookily calm through while trying to get enouch oxygen into his lungs to survive another assault.

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