Blackfish-the Movie made it’s Florida premiere at Miami Film Festival on March 3, 2013. Since reading the early buzz on the film I couldn’t wait to see it. Growing up in the Orlando area, SeaWorld was always my favorite park to visit. I was in awe of the beauty and power of the killer whales. As so many others, I dreamed of being a whale trainer one day. I could spend hours watching them and studying the every move of everyone who worked with them. Little did I know what was happening behind the scenes.
Blackfish opens with the haunting 911 calls after Dawn Brancheau was brutally attacked and killed by Tillikum, SeaWorld’s now infamous killer whale. The film proceeds to document a series of unfortunate events and early warning signs that were hidden and ignored for the purpose of greed.
Director Gabriela Cowperthwaite tastefully chooses to tell the story without the addition of sensationalism. Using only original footage and personal interviews of former trainers who have worked with Tilikum and other whales at SeaWorld and other various marine parks, the story unfolds. Cowperthwaite adds expert input from other professionals to pull together a clear picture of what happens behind the scenes and the long term impacts.
“Just the facts” is the format for Blackfish. After seeing and hearing the facts, no one with a conscience could possibly visit SeaWorld in the same light again.