Interview: 'Blackfish' Director On The Film About The Killer Whale That Killed Its SeaWorld Trainer
Original story at takepart.com• 5 mentions • 11 months ago
takepart.com 11 months ago
Interview: 'Blackfish' Director On The Film About The Killer Whale That Killed Its SeaWorld Trainer Documentarian Gabriela Cowperthwaite discusses Tilikum and the shocking truth behind orcas in captivity.Killer whale 'Tilikum' appears during a performance in its show 'Believe' at Sea World on March 30, 2011 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo: Gerardo Moro / Getty Images)On Saturday, January 19, the highly-anticipated documentary Blackfish made its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival to a packed and enthusiastic house. The movie, entered into the U.S. documentary competition, brings the story of the killer, killer whale Tilikum to the big screen.I can only hope that after seeing Blackfish, if you go to these parks, you're no longer making a passive decision. You're not being lured by the iconic symbol of a happy Shamu. Tilikum, SeaWorld’s 12,000-pound breeding bull, has now been involved in the deaths of three people, including orca trainer Dawn Brancheau in Orlando. That 2010 tragedy, reported around the globe, brought new awareness to what life is really like for orcas in captivity. Gabriela Cowperthwaite, the film’s director, was working on Blackfish at the same time I was researching my book, Death at SeaWorld, and our paths crossed often, in Florida—home of Shamu—and the Pacific Norwest, where “real” orcas live. By all accounts, she and producer Manny Oteyza have created a powerful and stirring narrative on the potential hazards of keeping killer whales captivity—to humans and the amazing animals themselves.