anticipating BlackfishPosted: July 25, 2013
From the day I discovered you could be something when you’re all grown up, I had a singular dream. Until the middle of my college career, I worked hard to become a Killer Whale Trainer. Did you just giggle a little? It’s no joke.
I became a certified SCUBA diver. I was a docent at a marine museum. The license plate on my first car read “TINORCA.” I chose my college based on it’s Marine Biology program. I honestly can’t put my finger on one reason why I ultimately decided to go down a different path. I’m not sure if it was fear or concern for the animals or a combination of the two, but I never realized that dream.
As a child, I spent a great deal of time with the killer whales at Sea World. I have yet to take my children there. I no longer wish to support that industry. That fact leaves me in mourning. I so want my children to see the magic of the killer whale in person. I want to share with them the excitement that I experienced as a child, but I know I can’t. I can’t.
Many of us have experienced the excitement and awe of watching 8,000-pound orcas, or “killer whales,” soar out of the water and fly through the air at sea parks, as if in perfect harmony with their trainers. Yet, in our contemporary lore this mighty black-and-white mammal is like a two-faced Janus–beloved as a majestic, friendly giant yet infamous for its capacity to kill viciously. Blackfish unravels the complexities of this dichotomy, employing the story of notorious performing whale, Tilikum, who–unlike any orca in the wild–has taken the lives of several people while in captivity. So what exactly went wrong?
Shocking, never-before-seen footage and riveting interviews with trainers and experts manifest the orca’s extraordinary nature, the species’ cruel treatment in captivity over the last four decades, and the growing disillusionment of workers who were mislead and endangered by the highly profitable sea-park industry. This emotionally wrenching, tautly structured story challenges us to consider our relationship to nature and reveals how little we humans have learned from these highly intelligent and enormously sentient fellow mammals.
Although I am quite anxious about seeing the movie, I am very much looking forward to it. It is out in limited release, so I’ll have to wait until August. I know the experience of viewing the film will be emotional for me.
Are you planning to see Blackfish?