DailyView: Day 152, Movie 233
This documentary was surprisingly difficult to watch.
I had an ache in the pit of my stomach during nearly the entire run time of the film. It felt like a terrible tragedy for so many involved.
This doc looked at the capture and use of killer whales at certain water parks, including SeaWorld. It followed the story of one particular orca, Tilicum, an aggressive whale that had been credited with the killing of three people over the years.
The doc also aggressively went after the idea of keeping these animals in the structures at these water parks and how it is not an environment to maintain a healthy life.
Some of the stories told during the film was heart breaking, both of the attacks of the orcas on the human handlers and the manner in which these creatures were being harvested for the industry.
Director Gabriela Cowperthwaite compiles a compelling case against the capture of these whales and it is hard not to see the point with the devastating visual evidence shown in the movie. It may feel one sided, but it was stated that SeaWorld was contacted to be interviewed for the documentary multiple times but refused to comment. It is not hard to wonder why.
This is a powerful documentary that really drives home the message right into the heart of the viewers. While it casts Tilicum in the role of a villain, it does not ignore the reasons for the orca to have been the way he was and why SeaWorld may have been willing to turn the other cheek. The doc feels more like a thriller.
Tilicum died four years after the release of the documentary.