Review Of ' Blackfish 's Rhetoric Centers Around The Claim Of Killer Whales

1493 Words Mar 15th, 2016 6 Pages
Blackfish’s rhetoric centers around the claim that killer whales should not be kept in captivity, as captivity is detrimental to both humans and whales. The film establishes this point is with contrast. Blackfish opens with former trainers on picturesque backdrops, speaking fondly of their relationships with killer whales. Cinematic music ties the scenes together, and this, in addition to footage of killer whales interacting with young children, utilizes ‘warm fuzzies’ with startling efficiency. But midway through the film, footage from the Sealand attack is incorporated and the audience sees that whales are equal parts cuddly love dispensers and sleek, brutal machines. This footage is shortly followed by rueful trainer testimonials. Most of the trainers repeat the same things: “I was naive,” or “I was a kid, I didn’t know better.”
It is interesting to note that all the trainers are white and conventionally attractive. And their whiteness and attractiveness serves them best in this part of the film, allowing them to be meditative and sheepish with grace. However, this pattern of whiteness and attractiveness may be more of a reflection of SeaWorld’s hiring policies than Blackfish’s rhetoric. These rueful testimonies back Blackfish’s rhetoric by serving as a proxy for the audience. By opening with ‘warm fuzzies,’ Blackfish caters to the image of killer whales that the audience is most likely used to--as tamed, marine circus animals. Slowly introducing new ideas to the…

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