Blackfish Film Analysis

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Since Tilikum the killer whale killed trainer Dawn Brancheau in 2010 at Sea World Orlando, there has been a great outcry over the topic of whether whales should be in captivity. So much so, a film in 2013 grossed $2,063,312 [1] by negatively depicting Orca whales in captivity. However, since 2010 there has been 197 [2] human deaths by ‘domesticated’ canines, but yet there is no emotional uproar or million dollar documentaries shaming domestication of man’s best friend. Why do we have particular trouble with the training, confinement, and breeding of one species of animals but turn a blind eye to another animal? The $2,063,312 film “Black Fish” seems to accentuate the mistreatment of Orcas in confinement at Sea World. However, the biased opinion …show more content…
They use examples in the film of previous employees who worked for SeaWorld talking about their prior experiences while juxtaposing questionable scenes of trainers working with animals. Despite these claims, a current former employee of Sea World Orlando Kyle Kittleson explains in a sit down interview [3] that certain scenes in the film were fabricated to heighten the emotional tug of the viewer so they assume that the whales are more dangerous to their trainers than they actually were. Kyle talks about some of those misleading scenes in the movie, “I remember one of the trainers I think her name was Sam, she was talking about ‘alright well you know I remember the first day I swam with killer whales and I got on his back and you know went around the perimeter of the pool’ and they paired that description with another video of another trainer not Sam doing that.” Now this quote alone shows that the film “Blackfish” can be misleading. The second statement made by Kyle was “when they’re talking about aggressive incidents with killer whales and trainers and they ended with this zoom in on one of the trainers with a bloody face, making you believe that that bloody face came from an incident with a killer whale, where I know that incident was him accidentally running in to a screen.” It is was the goal of this documentary to …show more content…
One journal went as far to say that “Captive orcas are unusually aggressive, biting and ramming one another.” [4] In a simple statement like this one, readers might believe that whales in the wild display no signs of aggression towards one another. When in reality this is simply not true, captivity does not cause any unnatural aggression in killer whales. A study published in the Aquatic Mammals Journal showed the number of killer whales in New Zealand waters that had scarring on their bodies. The results and data collected on the whales in this area showed that two of the males in the area had a lot of scarring [5]. Two adult male killer whale skulls were measured finding the spaces in between the whale’s teeth. The average space between the teeth was 34.5 mm, the rake marks on the backs of the whales in the ocean were projected to be 3-4cm apart, and an exact measurement of rake marks on a younger male whale who was beached found the marks on his body to be exactly 3 cm apart. This proves that this is not an unnatural act of violence due to captivity, these behaviors are normal and do take place in a whales natural

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