Black Fish is a documentary about SeaWorld and other “Sea” theme parks which actually put the animals and their trainers in danger.
There is a build once the film starts, it seems to be pleasant. Several former SeaWorld trainers are giving accounts to how they started and why. They list where they came from, their interests in sea animals, when they started, and what they thought about SeaWorld. Then there is a change of mood when they talk about Dawn Brancheau. I knew she was the trainer who had been killed right away because there was slow, sad music playing in the background and they showed old footage of her.
Dawn was killed in an attack by one of the killer whales right after a show on February 24, 2010. Her death seems to be the driving force of this entire film. SeaWorld’s denial of this death being the whale’s fault or even their fault is the main conflict. The OSHA sued SeaWorld on behalf of the Government but SeaWorld keeps fighting to keeps their trainers in the tanks with the Killer Whales. I understand the idea behind this and it is money. Big corporations often get caught up in some “fishy” business and to this day SeaWorld is a large attraction and a staple in our culture. What really brings in the audience is all the tricks that the trainers physically do with the animals.
The film continues to go back in forth, giving the viewers a bit of a history lesson. One aspect I did not like was how each story was out of order. We are told about Dawn Brancheau’s death first (seems to be very important because it is most recent), then we are told about how the Killer Whales were first captured in 1970, then we were told about the trainer who was killed in SeaLand(Canada’s park) in 1991. There is a correlation between all of these stories obviously, but the film seemed to be a little confusing and very intense because of the order the stories were told in and all of the information that is given.
What I do appreciate is that this film is educating its viewers. Black Fish gives us facts about Killer Whales and parallels them with untruths trainers are told to tell visitors of the park. We learn so much about Killer Whales from this film and we are given accounts from so many trainers. One question which came to mind throughout watching this is: Who is the victim? The whales or the trainers? Trainers are being killed but the Whales are being tortured. Either way, anybody who watches this will come to the conclusion: SeaWorld is wrong for what they’ve done and what they are doing. This is what makes this film so good; the creators of this film are not necessarily pointing the finger, they are simply presenting facts and the truth. The trainers were lied to about previous deaths of other trainers or were just flat out not told. There is an intense control that SeaWorld has over the entire situation and I am disgusted.