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Thursday, October 24, 2013

What to Watch Tonight: Blackfish, the Documentary That Will Make You Hate SeaWorld

Posted by Erik Henriksen on Thu, Oct 24, 2013 at 2:44 PM

BLACKFISH SeaWorld: roughly as safe as Jurassic Park.
  • BLACKFISH SeaWorld: roughly as safe as Jurassic Park.

Blackfish came out in theaters a little while ago, but tonight you can watch it for free if you have CNN.

With terrifying, nerve-wracking intensity—Blackfish might be a documentary, but it plays like a horror flick—director Gabriela Cowperthwaite examines the role of killer whales in marine parks. She focuses on one killer whale in particular: Tilikum, a bull orca who lives at SeaWorld Orlando. Graceful and majestic, Tilikum is 32 years old, 23 feet long, and weighs 12,000 pounds. He's killed three people.

Like The Cove—a similarly brutal documentary from 2009, about Japan's relentless dolphin slaughter—Blackfish will change the way you think. It isn't perfect, thanks to a sappy score and a forced ending, but in lining up testimony from researchers, activists, and passionate but disillusioned former SeaWorld employees, Cowperthwaite makes a case that's impossible to reasonably ignore. (Via.)

The Film Stage has an interview with Cowperthwaite, in which the director says, "If you are someone who is entertaining the idea of taking your kids to SeaWorld, I think it's important that you know what you would be seeing while you’re there." Blackfish will give you that info—and it's info that you won't get anywhere else. It's also info that will keep you from ever going to SeaWorld ever again.

Blackfish airs tonight on CNN at 6 and 9 pm; between those screenings is Anderson Cooper doing something called "Inside Blackfish," in which the Silver Fox "investigates questions" that are raised in Blackfish, apparently with special guest investigator Jack Hanna? Okay.

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