Blackfish is a 2013 documentary about orca (killer whales) in captivity, which premiered in Sundance in January. An engaging, moving film, presented like a psychological thriller, which started production when a trainer was attacked and killed by an orca in 2010. A particularly harrowing sequence was an interview with a former orca catcher. They were in Puget Sound in 1970, and when the young whales were separated from their mothers, the killer whales started screeching and crying, communicating with each other and grieving. It was only then, he said, when he realized – really, truly realized – what they were doing. It was like kidnapping babies, he said, and though he didn’t stop working (the dead whales were cut open and weighed down with stones so they would sink – he was paid to do this monstrous thing, after all) he said that was when he started to cry.
Thank you to Dean for the tip. I’ve never liked those captive animal shows. They have always felt wrong to me.
Watch this film when you get the chance.