Movie Review: Blackfish
Prinz Lee wrote this review 3 years and 9 months ago
I’ve often expressed my love for film. I love them all. You name it, I’ve probably seen it. If I haven’t, the time will come eventually. I’ve spent lots and lots of hours watching some of the most interesting, non-fictional, narratives that have rattled my brain and sense-of-being as a whole. I enjoy them, have lots of fun, recommend them, express my views, etc. However, I’ve also mentioned how my favorite of ALL genres happens to be documentary films – especially a well-executed one that’ll teach me a lot more than I already know. Whether expressing a cause, exposing specific horrors, or just allowing myself to learn about a way-of-life foreign to me, I’m always taken by two things: One, how nothing will ever move me like knowing I’ve just been exposed to some form of reality and Two, how very little marketing goes into pieces that are a lot more valuable to humanity, instead of a typical, overblown Hollywood piece.
Along with my love for documentary films is my love, admiration, and respect for animals. When combining both, I’m in a state of shock (yet not surprised) at how harsh mankind can be. For every one positive piece out there that’ll run parallel to humans/animals, you have lots that just exposes the horrors these poor souls experience for purposes of our own greed, selfishness, and whacked out “sense-of-entitlement” seeing as we’re the superior species – and that’s questionable on many levels. Films like “Earthlings,” “The Cove,” “One Nation Under Dog” all expose the darker side of humanity among those we consider less than us, but for every harsh act that goes on, there are always those willing to expose, help, and try to make this planet a better place for those we share it with.
Joining the ranks of the list I’ve just mentioned is “Blackfish.” In a nutshell, “Blackfish” is a piece on how we, the oh-so-civilized, caring humans (for no other reason other than money) have successfully accomplished to abuse, humiliate, torture, and exploit one of Earth’s most beautiful and majestic animals. With an interesting set-up surely able to spark discussions, director Gabriela Cowperthwaite’s main focus is on a truly sad story of Tilikum, an Orca (or "Killer Whale") that’s responsible for three deaths, numerous injuries over the years while in captivity, and his profitable existence for one of our country’s most neglectful and disrespectful theme-parks – Sea World!
Layered with intriguing interviews by trainers who've witnessed horrible things behind closed doors, a heartfelt one with a former whale hunter who regrets ever having been involved with the process, and disturbing footage, “Blackfish” may seem like “liberal propaganda” for some who feel it’s against Sea World (or other ocean-based parks), but the film is more than that. It exposes an ugly truth. A side of the business that’s clearly hidden for purposes of profits – and it doesn’t matter how or what needs to be done, as capitalist corruption was, is, and continues to be the way of Sea World’s success.
Considering “Blackfish” isn’t really exposing anything new seeing as many of us already knew about it, perhaps it can serve up in two ways: One, to help open the eyes of those who seem to be in denial about this kind of abuse and two, perhaps as word keeps spreading, the film can serve as some sort of artistic outcry and protest that’ll lead to putting these abusers out of business.
It’s intense, thought-provoking, sad, and extremely educational. Much like us, animals also deserve care, respect, and have the same right we have to exist on this planet without any form of barriers.
Grade: A / Genre: Documentary / Rated: PG-13 / Run Time: 90 Min.
Directed by: Gabriela Cowperthwaite