Blackfish Movie in Ottawa

Written by Denise Deby.

Blackfish (Dogwoof) Documentary photo courtesy
Blackfish (Dogwoof) Documentary photo courtesy

Supporters of zoos and aquariums say such facilities make wild animals available to people and thereby help us learn about and connect with creatures we otherwise wouldn’t come in contact with. That perspective is challenged in Blackfish, a movie about orcas (killer whales) in captivity.

Blackfish centres on Tilikum, an orca that killed three people during its years of performing at aquariums. The film reconstructs what happened, highlighting the gap between what whales need to thrive and how they’ve been living in captivity, and investigating how a whale seemingly turned on its trainers.

From the film’s synopsis:

…director-producer Gabriela Cowperthwaite compiles shocking footage and emotional interviews to explore the creature’s extraordinary nature, the species’ cruel treatment in captivity, the lives and losses of the trainers and the pressures brought to bear by the multi-billion dollar sea-park industry.

This emotionally wrenching, tautly structured story challenges us to consider our relationship to nature and reveals how little we humans have learned from these highly intelligent and enormously sentient fellow mammals.”

Blackfish is playing at the Bytowne (next showing on Sunday, Sept. 15, 2013 at 2:15 p.m.) and at the Mayfair from Friday, Sept. 20 until Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013.

You can find out more at the film’s website, which also provides a “Take Action” page at

*Update: Here’s Katherine Monk’s Ottawa Citizen review of Blackfish–worth a read:*

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s