Blackfish is a documentary exposing the reality behind Seaworld and other marine entertainment parks. The film focusses on a large male orca that killed two trainers. Former Seaworld trainers talk about how they became disillusioned with the work, discussing issues relating to health and safety at work, lack of transparency and animal rights. There's also a lot of footage of the fatal accidents caused when orcas went bad and killed trainers at marine parks (in fact sometimes it felt like "When Killer Whales Attack!" rather than an animal rights expose.)
Most of the interviews emphasise the problems of working with animals that can be dangerous, rather than trying to explore in depth why these animals do in fact become dangerous. Orcas don't attack humans in the wild, so why do they do it in captivity? The footage speaks for itself in making the point that intelligent
creatures such as orcas shouldn't be confined to small metal swimming
pools nor should family groups be split up (watching and hearing mother
orcas screaming when their babies are taken away is very distressing). Treating them in such ways, is it any surprise that they turn on their keepers to vent their frustrations?
This is a very powerful film, making the clear point that if we mistreat wild animals, then we can't be surprised when they turn round and take revenge. Orcas should live wild in the oceans with their family groups, not be caged in small pools and expected to jump when we tell them to.
If you are concerned about this issue, you can pledge not to visit marine parks that use animals for entertainment.
Good news: India recently banned commercial dolphin entertainment.
Blackfish is showing at Edinburgh Filmhouse today only.
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