I recently saw Blackfish at The Little. Blackfish is a documentary about Orca [Killer] whales and their use at parks like sea world (for entertainment purposes). The documentary had very candid interviews with former trainers as well as OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) executives and Orca whale researchers. The documentary was well made and really painted a very interesting portrait of the orcas. I wasn’t aware that Killer whales could be vengeful; I thought that was a trait reserved solely for cats. So, I guess you learn something new everyday. The documentary juxtaposes clips of the whales doing tricks with headlines and footage of the whales in what I would call “less than savory” circumstances. I suppose now would be an appropriate time to hook y’all up with the summary from IMDB:
Notorious killer whale Tilikum is responsible for the deaths of three individuals, including a top killer whale trainer. Blackfish shows the sometimes devastating consequences of keeping such intelligent and sentient creatures in captivity.
In the documentary they trace the origins of Tilikum; his violent capture which led to the death of a few whales, his violent relationship with other killer whales in the first park he was at in Canada and his later life at Sea World. Really what caught me off guard throughout the whole thing was just how intelligent Killer whales are. It also amazed me how little was known about Killer whales up until about 20 years ago or so.
Perhaps the most startling portions of the documentary was the footage of humans being attacked by the whales. It amazed me that the whales sort of toy with their pray and they make killing a sport. Of course Sea World and it’s affiliates make the claim that the trainers are the ones at fault when these sorts of incidents occur but I am reminded of a joke by Chris Rock which went something to the effect of,
“That tiger ain’t go crazy; that tiger went tiger! You know when he was really crazy? When he was riding around on a unicycle with a Hitler helmet on!”
I would definitely recommend going to see this as it provides a unique insight into a world that I personally didn’t have much knowledge of.
Tl;dr: Killer whales are douche bags.
My verdict: check it out, absolutely worth the cost of admission.