Today: April 18, 2024

BLACKFISH

A film by Gabriela Cowperthwaite

On DVD & BLURAY from 26th August

Gabriela Cowperthwaite’s unforgettable documentary BLACKFISH will come to DVD on the 26th August, with 20 minutes of additional features, including an insightful Q&A from Sheffield Doc/Fest.  Premiering to wide audience acclaim at the 2013 Sundance Film festival, BLACKFISH tells the story of Tilikum, a notoriously aggressive orca that killed three people while in captivity.

Laying out evidence like a courtroom drama, director Gabriela Cowperthwaite uses shocking footage and emotional interviews to present a convincing and emotive case against keeping these highly intelligent and evolved wild animals in captivity for human entertainment.

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 misled 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.

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