Media Reviews: Blackfish

Movie Reviews: North By North LesBlackfish

Four-and-a-half stars.



2013, 83 mins., directed and written by Gabriela Cowperthwaite.

This is the controversial documentary that tells the story of Tilikum, a killer whale, or orca (called “blackfish” in Native American lore). Held in captivity for years at amusement parks, Tilikum was responsible for the deaths of three trainers. The film interviews four former SeaWorld trainers, covering their initial enthusiasm, and eventual disillusionment with the parks and their practices. Footage of orcas used for entertainment is shown, as well as some of the incidents involving trainers. A very disturbing film that makes one question the ethics of man confining in limited spaces these beautiful (but deadly) social creatures for the sake of profit. Side note: Upon the release of the film, SeaWorld took the unusual step of hiring a publicist as well as maintaining a web site to refute what is presented in the film. Highly recommended.  See the record for Blackfish.

Les Kong, Coordinator of the Library Multi Media Center (PL-5005), and longtime Alfred Hitchcock fan, reviews movies from the library’s collection. The opinions expressed are his alone.

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