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Blackfish (2013)

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A documentary following the controversial captivity of killer whales, and its dangers for both humans and whales.

Writers:

, (as Eli Despres) | 1 more credit »
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 6 wins & 38 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Himself (archive footage)
John Hargrove ... Himself - Former SeaWorld Trainer
... Herself - Former SeaWorld Trainer
Mark Simmons ... Himself - Former SeaWorld Trainer
Kim Ashdown ... Herself
Dean Gomersall ... Himself - Former SeaWorld Trainer
... Himself (archive footage)
Shamu ... Himself (archive footage)
Carol Ray ... Herself - Former SeaWorld Trainer
John Jett ... Himself - Fomer SeaWorld Trainer
Dawn Brancheau ... Herself - SeaWorld Trainer (archive footage)
Jeffrey Ventre ... Himself - Former SeaWorld Trainer
Thomas Tobin ... Himself
... Himself - OSHA Expert Witness, Whale Researcher
Jim Payne ... Himself (archive footage)
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Storyline

Notorious killer whale Tilikum is responsible for the deaths of three individuals, including a top killer whale trainer. Blackfish shows the sometimes devastating consequences of keeping such intelligent and sentient creatures in captivity. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Never capture what you can't control. See more »

Genres:

Documentary | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for mature thematic elements including disturbing and violent images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

18 October 2013 (Iceland)  »

Also Known As:

Blackfish - Egy kardszárnyú delfin története  »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$75,962, 21 July 2013, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$2,063,312, 13 October 2013
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During his time at Seaworld, Tilikum was housed in a tank containing 0.0001% (one one-millionth) of the quantity of water that he would traverse in a single day in the ocean. See more »

Quotes

John Hargrove: Those are not your whales. Ya know, you love them, and you think, I'm the one that touches them, feeds them, keeps them alive, gives them the care that they need. They're NOT your whales. They own them!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Tilikum Has Died (2017) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Gut Wrenching
27 October 2013 | by See all my reviews

This documentary is one of the best docs I've ever seen. Tilikum, the Orca who is the film's focus, is not the only tragic victim in this movie. We feel the loss of Dawn Brancheau & the other trainers killed in this movie acutely.

There are scenes of wild orcas that are rapturous & conversely there are scenes with them that are filled with tension & dread. The filmmakers aren't out to shock you with graphic imagery (if any exist). The spoken & written descriptions are horrifying enough. (It is not for children!) I wish I could un-hear the plaintive cries of a mother orca after being separated from her child. That scene had to be in the film, but it is almost --it is-- too much.

To call this film one-sided is like calling a film about the horrors of meth addiction, child abuse or the dangers of cigarette smoking biased. How could it be any other way?

It is an absolutely unforgettable film.

Update 2015: This film is even more powerful if you see it after you had read John Hargrove's book "Beneath The Surface" which explores the film's subject in greater detail. I can't think of a film + book that complement each other so perfectly except maybe "Eight Men Out" & "Into The Wild" (maybe Cheryl Strayed's "Wild" which I haven't read that was adapted into an excellent film).


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