Gabriela Cowperthwaite’s informative and thought provoking documentary offers a comprehensive introduction to the captivity of killer whales, their trainers and the human tragedies that have made a business like SeaWorld increasingly controversial.
Armed with exclusive interviews with former SeaWorld employees and incriminating archive footage Cowperthwaite embarks on an eye-opening and unrelenting castigation of the popular theme park. Sadly, the documentary lacks the opinion of a SeaWorld representative and becomes entirely one-sided – but, as the director is keen to remind us, SeaWorld refused to participate; which speaks for itself.
Over the course of its brief runtime, perhaps too brief for the amount of content it covers, few punches are pulled and the distressing presentations of the orca attacks, cover ups and animal cruelty will live long in the memory. Yet, what remains most impacting about Blackfish is that the crimes and cruelty it presents have been occurring since the eighties and it’s taken a documentary decades later for awareness to be raised to a large enough scale to spark a long overdue hatred of SeaWorld. Unfortunately, it’s too late for the trainers who’ve lost their lives captive and the many whales who’ve been left traumatised.