Before I start the review I have to say this up front, I have never been to Seaworld. I’ve been to Florida a few times but I have never even wanted to go to Seaworld, something about the park always struck me as unpleasant. After watching Blackfish, I can now confirm that my initial thoughts about Seaworld were right. Since there isn’t really much I can say about the film as a whole without ruining the experience, I’ll keep this review short.
The film concerns the activity of killer whales in captivity following the death of a Seaworld trainer in 2010, showing both the roots of the aggression of killer whales in captivity and how Seaworld has tried to cover up the activity of the whales in order to keep making more money. Everything that is shown about the captivity of killer whales, from the horrific way that the whales are captured, to Seaworld separating mother whales from their children, to the terrible conditions whales are kept in, often resulting in periods of starvation and severe injuries for the whales is disgusting and really makes you wonder how anyone would want to become a Seaworld trainer, not just in terms of dealing all the abuse towards whales but also due to the risk posed by the whales. This film attempts to explain that by saying that Seaworld covers up the nasty details about the whales captivity, lying to the trainers about how their lives are longer in captivity and how many deaths have been caused by whales, in some cases even saying that acts of aggression by the whales were the result of trainer error instead of the actions of the whale caused by their captivity, along with some trainers genuinely believing that they have formed bonds with the whales until they see the horror of what they are doing. It’s really telling how much Seaworld didn’t want all the stuff in this documentary to come out since they refused to contribute to the documentary at all, even to respond to the criticisms leveled on the company, with all the testimony about how Seaworld works with the whales coming from former trainers, most of whom have now turned against the company and are appalled by what they did whilst working for Seaworld.
This is the best kind of documentary, one that makes the audience incredibly passionate about a subject that they may know nothing about beforehand. This is one of the most shocking and disturbing films I have seen all year, made worse by the fact that all of the stuff shown in the film is still going on today. Hopefully, more people will have their eyes opened as to the extent of Seaworld’s cruelty by watching this film.
My Rating: 4.5/5