REVIEW - Blackfish Documentary

This year we went to Canada to visit Mr O's family, and to see the Orca. I love his family but for me it was really for the Orca.

I was the perfect age when Free Willy came out, and that pretty much solidified my "they should be in the wild not Seaworld" in my head. I thought the tales that came out then, with that film, were bad. When we were in Victoria on the whale tour, the guides told us all about the way Seaworld and their contemporaries operated in taking the whales from the wild. It was there we first heard the term "Blackfish", it was also there we first heard of Tilikum.

"Blackfish" documents Tilikum, a captured Orca who has killed three trainers. He is a predator, Orca's fall into two distinct types - resident, who eat only fish and the transient, like Tilikum, who eat mammals. He was captured in Iceland and kept in Sealand of the Pacific in Victoria, where he first killed, before being moved to Florida.

The documentary is really interesting in how it talks about the history of the species in the wild, capturing process, behaviour in captivity in the wild and captivity. It covers other Seaworld Orca, not just Tilikum, but it is very much angled in the anti-Seaworld camp. While it might seem like Seaworld didn't get their side across, what I got was that it was trying to tell the story AND counter 40 years of Seaworld PR. A lot of the general information on Orca's is what we learnt on our whale tour in Canada - we even heard a lot of stories about Granny, the 103 year old Orca who lives off Vancouver (or maybe not, according to Seaworld they don't live that long)

If you are at all interested in Whales its well worth a watch, it doesn't lessen my love of Orca at all. It does however intensify my hate for exploitative, entertainment oriented zoo's!

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