Blackfish: How Accurate is it?
The analyzation and fact check of the documentary Blackfish
What was Blackfish
Why was Blackfish Created
How Blackfish Accomplished its Goals aka Rhetorical Strategies
In the documentary Blackfish the directors used previous Sea World trainers to speak about their experiences training the orcas. Most often the trainers were speaking down towards Sea World and were giving first hand experiences of orcas not being treated right. This was used to show the audience that Sea World is hiding the fact that orcas are not meant to be held captive and this works since the trainers can be trusted and experienced it themselves.
When showing the orcas in captivity the director shows violent images to make a correlation between violence and animals held in captivity. This connection helped promote the ideas that animals should not be held in captivity, and more specifically orcas since it can make then hostile. In addition, the documentary uses images of death, sounds of screaming, blood, and scars when explaining events related to injuries or death with orcas to further create the image that captivity can make orcas violent. The documentary take advantage of this images to create the idea that since this is the result of captivating orcas in Sea World, they should not be held captive.
Blackfish wants the audience to be able to emotionally connect to the orcas so that the can feel a stronger want to free them. They do this by linking in humans and orcas together by saying we are the same scene we each have smilier brain structures, we both have languages, we both have cultures, and we both live in families. The connection the documentary makes, makes the audience feel as though these orcas are humans as well and deserve a life just like every human. The connection creates an emotional bond between orcas and the audience and this emotional bond compels them to agree with the idea that orcas should not be held in captivity.
The Misinformation, Omitted Information, and Lies Presented in the Film
Never speaks about the positives of Sea World
Sea World is one the leading institutions in the research of sea animals which is a major positive for scientist and future scientific research advancements
Although they captivate animals they also take in many injured animals rehabilitate them and release them to the wild.
Much of the revenue it generates is given to charity and works toward promoting the livelihood of animals
- Sea World helps protect and conserve endangered animals
Blackfish claims Seaworld lies to make orcas seem like nice creatures, but then Blackfish does the exact same thing trying to make orcas look nice while in nature but mean in captivity. The documentary manipulates the audience by making Sea World look like they lie but the documentary also lies but has a good "cause" unlike Sea World.
“What we’ve learned is that they’re amazingly friendly and understanding and intuitively want to be your companion, and to this day there’s no record of any orca doing any harm to a human in the wild”
While Orcas are friendly and do not attack humans, this statement is false considering there are events in which humans have been injured from wild orcas. In one such case an orca took hold of a diver's arm and drug him underwater similarly to other deaths related to orcas and trainers. In addition, it has been seen where whales, even orcas, have jumped and landed on boats just like what happened in Sea World when an orca landed on a trainer.
“You’ve got animals from different cultural subsets that have been brought in from various parks. These are different nations. These aren’t just two different killer whales. These animals–they got different genes. They’ve got different languages.”
Blackfish claims orcas are very diverse and are uniquely different but “ genetic studies to date have found extremely low levels of diversity in the mitochondrial control region, and few clear phylogeographic patterns worldwide” which means orcas are not all that different.
“This is a multi-billion dollar corporation that makes its money through the exploitation of Orcas”
Sea World makes much more revenue from other products and this quote makes it seem like Seaworld is harsh when they also work to rehabilitate animals. This statement makes it seem like Sea World treats their animals harsh and forces them to perform to make many, when in reality no animals are harmed or forced to participate and Sea World has many other sources of revenue.
Blackfish said that Floppy dorsal fins were rare in the wild but they are actually not as rare. In addition, since the dorsal fin is involved in the reproduction process then Seaworld would not have used Tilikum which rebukes the claim that Tilikum is only kept for reproductive purposes.
Aggression as a gene, in the documentary it was claimed that Tilikum as an animal with aggressive tenancies and should not have been used since all o its offspring will now have aggressive tendencies. This statement is not accurate nor is it inaccurate, there has not been enough studies to claim whether or not aggression is a gene found within orcas. As a result, Blackfish should not have made this claim since it makes all orcas in Sea World appear aggressive although this may not be true.
The REASON WHY these “lies” exist
Sea Worlds Response
"False Killer Whale Dorsal Fin Disfigurements as a Possible Indicator of Long-Line Fishery Interactions in Hawaiian Waters." BioOne. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 May 2017.
Kirby, David. "Did a Wild Orca Really Attack a Diver in New Zealand?" TakePart. N.p., 24 Feb. 2014. Web. 22 May 2017.
Morin128, Phillip A., Frederick I. Archer1, Andrew D. Foote34, Julia Vilstrup3, Eric E. Allen2, Paul Wade5, John Durban5, Kim Parsons5, Robert Pitman1, Lewyn Li6, Pascal Bouffard6, Sandra C. Abel Nielsen3, Morten Rasmussen3, Eske Willerslev3, and M. Thomas P. Gilbert3 And. "Phillip A. Morin." Genome Research. Cold Spring Harbor Lab, 01 Jan. 1970. Web. 22 May 2017.
"Quotes." IMDb. IMDb.com, n.d. Web. 22 May 2017.
Rileyswilson. "7 Quotes From ‘Black Fish’ That Speak To More Than Whale Captivity & Torture." RILEYSWILSON. N.p., 16 Jan. 2014. Web. 22 May 2017.
"SeaWorld responds to questions about captive orcas, 'Blackfish' film." CNN. Cable News Network, 28 Oct. 2013. Web. 22 May 2017.