Summary Of Gabriela Cowperthwaite's Film 'Blackfish'

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In Gabriela Cowperthwaite’s film, Blackfish (2013), Cowperthwaite captures the psychological torture killer whales, specifically Tilikum and Kasatka, face at Sea World after being brutally separated from their families. The film takes us through the journey of captured killer whales becoming mentally unstable and being used for entertainment purposes. This film displays archival footage and interviews with former trainers who had close experiences with killer whales at Sea World. The attacks at Sea World stem from the whales’ separation from their families, the trainer’s demand for the whales to do tricks in solitary confinement, and the punishment done to the whales when their tricks are not properly executed. All major accounts of killer whale attacks on trainers develop through the distress of the whales outside of their natural habitat. It is evident that the trainers react to the attacks with shock and fear. Cowperthwaite highlights the killer whale’s incident with trainer Ken Peters because it embodies the reality that captivity traumatizes killer whales. This incident shows that the violent behavior is a reflection of the whales’ emotional torture in …show more content…
The underwater shot shows Kasakta looking directly at Peters while he tugs at him. Kasakta drags him up and down three times, putting extreme pressure on Peters. Kasakta repeatedly releases and captures his trainer, asserting his power. In captivity, Kasakta is desperate to take control of his living situation. Peters becomes a rag doll as his body whips through the water, following behind Kasaktas movement. The documentary is built off first-hand footage that captures the role reversal of the dynamic between Kasakta and Peters. The reversal of roles is highlighted in this scene to confirm that the whale’s fury is a display of its irritation in

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