Blackfish (2013) – MIFF Film Review


USA 83 mins

What fun families have at theme parks watching the performers interact with the animals, swimming with dolphins and leaping off orcas. Imagine if, instead of swimming and playing, the orca grabbed the trainer by the leg and dragged them beneath the water. Still fun?

Blackfish is about Tilikum, an orca who killed one of his trainers at Sea World in the United States in 2010. The film has a lot of amazing footage, the most disturbing being that showing various attacks on trainers. I found the whole experience extremely emotional. To put people’s lives at risk, without ever informing them of the dangers; to have these beautiful creatures stuck into concrete ponds and forced to perform; to present this behaviour as natural to the hundreds of people in the crowds who come to watch. It was all a bit much.

Blackfish screens at Greater Union on Sunday, July 28 at 9:15pm and on Wednesday, August 7 at 6:30pm. To book tickets, visit