Cinematic Releases: Blackfish

Blackfish is one movie that will make you rethink your stance on captive animals and the corporate parks that will do anything to protect themselves from the punishment they so deserve. Blackfish is the true tale of killer whale Tilikum and his life long struggle under the control of self serving park interests and the trainers that would much rather see him live a life of peace and freedom. If anything will convince you to never visit Sea World again, it's Blackfish. This is a heart wrenching story that speaks volumes for the intelligence of killer whales and their desire to remain connected to their families.

Tilikum was first separated from his family in 1983 and was immediately taken to a park that couldn't control his outbursts of anger. Soon after, he was taken to Sea World and has been used time and time again to breed new whales for the park's use. While some might paint Tilikum as an angry animal, most others would qualify the reasons for his outbursts and non-typical behavior.

At the age of 2, Tilikum was kidnapped from his mother, then thrown into small tanks where other female whales would do their best to hurt him. In his lifetime, he's been responsible for the deaths of three trainers. Yet, Blackfish never blames Tilikum. Instead, we're shown a brilliant animal that is confused, depressed, and definitely ready to be retired from life in the spotlight.

This last spring we took our family to Sea World. Now, I question if we'll ever return. The behavior of park owners and management is absolutely reprehensible. Blackfish shows these men and women in all their greed induced glory. They lie, manipulate and blame an innocent creature when in fact it's their ignorance of the species that has caused each incident with Tilikum. Do yourself a favor and see this movie. It will change your thoughts on captive animals and will definitely open your eyes to the reality that these distraught creatures live in every day.

-review by Chris George