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Blackfish (2013)Blackfish (2013)

           In February 2010 an orca named Tilikum killed senior trainer Dawn Brancheau at SeaWorld Orlando. The theme park blamed the trainer, but video showed otherwise. Was the killer whale being playful? Was it an attack? Or maybe psychic frustration at captivity? In fact, "Tilly" was involved in two previous deaths. When OSHA investigated, they documented a hundred dangerous incidents between trainers and killer whales. This 80-minute documentary argues that keeping the emotionally-complex and highly social orcas in captivity is cruel to the animals and dangerous to humans. SeaWorld refused repeated attempts to participate in the film. But numerous former employee-trainers spoke of how they deeply regretted their participation in the billion-dollar industry. There's a paradox in this protest — it's in places like SeaWorld where at least some science is done, and where most of us have learned to stand in awe of these remarkable creatures. The film has provoked articles in mainstream media like Time magazine and the New York Times.

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