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Blackfish is a mind-altering documentary film directed by Gabriela Cowperthwaite which tells the story of notorious orca (killer whale) Tilikum in captivity, who is responsible for the killing of three persons, including his trainer Dawn Brancheau.
Cowperthwaite started his work on the documentary after the death of Brancheau to investigate the claim by the SeaWorld who misinterpreted the cause of his death. SeaWorld claimed that Brancheau was dragged into the pool by her ponytail that might have caught in Tilikum’s teeth. And they further explained that trainer’s hair may have confused with a toy or fish, because she was holding a fish before. Cowperthwaite argued that this claim by the SeaWorld had been conjecture and there is something more in the story. The SeaWorld also claimed that the orcas in captivity live longer. But, Cowperthwaite proved this claim is wrong in the film. The film also examines the consequences of keeping such gigantic and intelligent animal in captivity.
This horrific documentary film with never-before-seen footage includes interviews with orca trainers and experts show us the killer whale’s exceptional behavior, brutal treatment of them in captivity over the last four decades, and the frustration of workers who were deceived and threatened by the business-minded sea park industry. This emotional story challenges us to evaluate our relationship with nature and natural resources and reveals how we humans learned lessons from these highly intelligent fellow mammals.
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