Upon a friend’s suggestion, I recently came across the documentary Blackfish following my return from observing a couple of Shamu shows and feeding dolphins at SeaWorld in Orlando, Florida. Dolphins and whales’ adorable appearances and rivaling intellect to that of a human’s have sparked my interest. Prior to watching Blackfish, I never thought of these animals in relation to being abused in captivity. Though I will always be against kidnapping wild animals from their natural habitat into the circus world, I could not help but notice the blatant one-sidedness of the video. When a work that is designed to bash a corporation casts the company’s former employees who were either fired or left on negative terms, the piece in most cases will project a biased perspective.
Former SeaWorld’s orca trainer Kyle Kittleson emphasizes Blackfish makes the viewer feel rather than think. Much of the movie is set to intense and intimidating music that instantly lures the audience into a pessimistic viewpoint towards SeaWorld. The film repeatedly shares one story and then shows an irrelevant clip, leading the spectator to believe the two are related. The documentary concludes with a snippet of a bloody-faced trainer, making the audience suppose he was mauled by a killer whale. His incident, however, is unassociated with the animal; he rather accidentally ran into a screen, cutting his face open.
Blackfish constantly mentions unfortunate incidents of men capturing wild baby orcas and abducting them from their families. Observing the poor video quality proves the story’s being outdated, but as the film directs its viewers into feeling instead of thinking, they instinctively side with the movie and believe SeaWorld to be despicable. Stealing animals from the wild should never be permitted, but the vast majority of marine animals at SeaWorld today have either been bred there or rescued for the purpose of releasing them into the ocean when they are physically prepared to hunt alone and face the threat of their predators.
Sadly, numerous people nowadays, specifically social media addicts, assume they have become experts in a field by examining one biased work without pursuing any further research. I do not support animal captivity, but before making any hateful comments, one needs to understand both sides of the story. Individuals cannot condemn SeaWorld based on one video solely intended to abolish the organization. This enslaves the audience into the prejudiced world of the documentary. Why should rescuing and assisting marine animals be intolerable when people, for entertainment and contentment, domesticate dogs and cats as well? Like Kittleson states, viewers must do their research before thinking they have become scholars in an area of which they only have ninety-minute movie knowledge.