31 July 2013

Tilikum is a giant Killer Whale who was captured by Sea World in Berufjörður, off the east coast of Iceland, and now ‘performs’ at their park in Orlando. Over his life he has been involved in the death of three trainers and Sea World staff. 

Blackfish looks at the treatment of these giant animals in captivity, how they are captured, their extraordinary nature, the lives and losses of the trainers and the massive pressures of the multi-billion dollar sea-park industry and how and why this has led to the death of three people. 

The film’s director Gabriela Cowperthwaite was inspired to make the film after reading an article in Outside Magazine which profiles Tilikum and looks at what led him to being involved in these deaths. 

Peter Bradshaw, in The Guardian, labelled the film ‘As horribly gripping as a serial-killer thriller, though the real villain is not the ostensible culprit, but its human captors.’ Comparing Blackfish to The Cove, Empire Magazine called the movie ‘Impassioned and disturbing, this doc matches The Cove for marrying cool intellect with real fire.’

Blackfish is a call to action, arguing that these animals, which have such a strong capacity for emotion and intelligence, should not be kept in captivity in such harsh conditions. Sea World has recently responded to many of the points raised in the film, to which the filmmakers have said ‘It is not transparent to us whether SeaWorld has watched the film carefully enough’.

Tickets for Blackfish are on sale now, and the film is showing at FACT until Thursday 8 August. Tickets can be purchased online, from the Box Office and by phone on 0871 902 5737.

Blackfish received it's UK premiere at Sheffield Doc/Fest this year, and this Augist the festival will bring two more of the best films from the 2013 event for exclusive one off screenings with director Q&A's. You can find more information about Google and the World Brain and A Fragile Trust here