Back in 07' while I was working for Universal Orlando I found out that all employees received free admission to Sea World. I was super stoked to hear this since I hadn't been to a Sea World park for at least 10 years. While in the park a co-worker and I went down to the "Shamu" tank. I'll always remember how enormous that creature was and how it should not be in captivity. So when I heard about this film "Blackfish" I was interested exactly what aspects of Sea World they were going to get into. Boy, was I in for a ride.
The film starts off by going into the former trainers of Sea World and how they depicted the park before they worked there and how exactly they got their jobs there. It was shows the greatness in working for the park. This is the light hearted segment of the film. The film than goes back to 1970 where they were capturing the Orcas. Targeting the babies and most of the time killing other orcas that were stuck in the nets with them. As they were doing this, the whole Orca family would swim near by and just cry. One of the whale poachers talks about how this breaks his heart and he lost it at the time and how it was the worst thing he's ever done.
The whale they were capturing at the time was Tilikum, the whale the film revolves around. The first park he is transferred to is Sealand. A very small marine park in Canada. If you can even call it a park. All Sealand consisted of was three killer whales, Tilikum and two female whales. The female whales would gang up on Tilikum since he was untrained. At night they were put into a very small floating pen where Tilikum was hurt even worse. The talk about how this is how Tilikum's rage was built up.
On February 20th. 2001, Tilikum's first victim was trainer, Kelty Burn. There's no memorial or any talk in the news about how the orca killed her. Only that she drowned. This made the park shut down. Sea World stepped in and bought Tilikum from them. They mostly bought him as a breeder and told nothing about the attack to the trainers. They told them the female whales were to blame. There were subtle hints while working with him that he was dangerous. While filming a show Tilikum tried to grab a trainer into the water. The film was then called unusable and they were even brought to court about the incident. They just said Tilikum showed no signs of being aggressive and quickly shrugged it off.
I want to get more into this film but I suggest you all check it out. It is streaming for free on Netflix. While reading up about this film I read that the upcoming Pixar film, Finding Dory was in fact changed because of this documentary. This film is at time heartbreaking I will admit that. It definitely is worth a watch though.