Blackfish

 
August 25 – 28 
Mon 8:10
Tues 8:10
Wed 6:00
Thur 6:00 (last show)
 
(USA / 2013 / Directed by Gabriela Cowperthwaite)
PG-13 / 83 mins.
The movie SeaWorld doesn’t want you to see, Gabriela Cowperthwaite’s documentary is enough to make anybody think twice about the wisdom of turning whales into performers.
The film begins in 2010, when esteemed 40-year-old trainer Dawn Brancheau was killed by a whale named Tilikum before a horrified crowd. While SeaWorld claimed the incident resulted from trainer error, Cowperthwaite makes her case not just against Tilikum, but against the whole business of what happens to mammals harnessed into entertainment. Experts in the film argue that such incidents are not acts of aggression, but rather frustration on the part of orcas being confined to – as one describes it – “a concrete bathtub” for much of their lives. From capturers to trainers, all speak emotionally about the sense of responsibility for the animals they worked with, even after attacks or close calls. Through their stories, killer whales become the mightiest symbol of our cultural hubris – of our inability to manage creatures we have the power to capture and imprison.
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