At Seaworld California lives Tilikum, the biggest orca in captivity. The documentary »Blackfish« begins in the aftermath of this 6000 kilogram mammal’s latest three kills. Given the fact that Tilikum ate Dawn Brancheau, a Seaworld trainer deemed to be the best and most reliable in the business, one could assume that the orca lives up to its moniker “The Killer Whale”.

Going beyond wishful thinking and easy answers, »Blackfish« sees the orca as more than just a savage creature made of muscle, bone and gigantic teeth, and explains how Tilikum was captured 30 years ago, how he was kept in pitch black as an infant in containers, bullied by other captured whales and how he has lived for 25 years in a pool comparable to the size of a bathtub. By exploring Tilikum’s case, »Blackfish« casts a disturbing light on mankind’s troubling urge to lock animals in small cages for our own amusement – and how we are not always willing to face the consequences of this.

Blackfish poster
Title
Blackfish
Director
Gabriela Cowperthwaite
Country
USA
Length
83 min
Festival
2013
Section
Documania
Language
English, Spanish
Premiere status
Nordic Premiere
Production year
2013
Original title
Blackfish
Producer
Manuel Oteyza
Script
Gabriela Cowperthwaite, Eli B. Despres
Music
Jeff Beal
See all films from the 2013 festival