Saturday, September 7, 2013


On Labor Day, I went with my father to watch an amazing documentary called Blackfish about Orcas in captivity. This movie attempted to explain why acts of aggression towards humans have been taking place at amusement parks like SeaWorld. For the past 40 years there have been quite a few documented acts of this aggression, three resulting in the deaths of trainers. The film includes interviews from many former Orca trainers and their experiences.  The main focus was on the whale named Tilikum, a 12,000 pound male Orca currently living at SeaWorld, Florida.  This whale has a history of aggressive acts and has been involved in the deaths of three people. The film tries to determine how purposeful the whales are with these acts of aggression and how has their environment has promoted these reactions? The interviews show slightly different viewpoints but it is clear that these whales are only acting as such because of their living conditions.

Ever since I was little, I've loved Orcas.  If I had to be any other animal on this planet, I would choose to be an Orca.  Nothing kills an Orca, they aren't even hunted by humans, they're powerful, and most of all they are smart.  So naturally when I heard about this documentary on Tumblr, I couldn't wait to see it.  A couple months have passed and I saw that this movie was showing at my local theatre so I went to the next available showing. I can't remember the last time a movie has such an effect on me. I've always held on to the naive belief that SeaWorld and other parks were giving their animals a decent life but that view is forever shattered. These animals are as aware of the world as we are and perhaps feel more deeply than we do yet we keep them in the equivalent of a bathtub in which they are attacked by other whales and then we have the nerve to separate their offspring. Frankly, they deserve to be a little aggressive.  If there is one documentary you should see this year, I would say it's this one.  I can't even imagine stepping foot in a park like SeaWorld ever again. If you're interesting in watching this film, it will be aired on CNN on October 24th at 9pm EST.

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