Director: Gabriela Cowperthwaite
Running time: 83 mins Released: 26th July 2013
Web site: blackfishmovie.com
Many people have felt the awe and excitement of watching orca or 'killer' whales at sea life centres and in reverential nature documentaries. Seen as friendly giants their cultural appeal is on par with dolphins, but this documentary shows that the institutions that claim to have the animals' interests at heart may care more about profits than the the wellbeing of their charges. Interviews with animal trainers highlight the ways in which the park environment can breed severe negative consequences for its inhabitants while exploring the guilt that employees feel over the unnatural state of affairs. Performing whale Tilikum has killed several people while in captivity in SeaWorld parks over the last twenty years, and his troubling history raises questions about the value that his owners place on the lives of his carers.