Film about the abuse and stress suffered by whales in captivity. Director Gabriela Cowperthwaite investigates what happens behind the scenes, and why, if most people knew the truth, we would no longer be amused by the antics these poor animals are forced to perform, or accept how these animals are kept in small confined areas for the duration of their natural life.
"Blackfish - Many of us have experienced the excitement and awe of watching 8,000 pound orcas, or "killer whales," soar out of the water and fly through the air at sea parks, as if in perfect harmony with their trainers. Yet this mighty black and white mammal has many sides -- a majestic, friendly giant, seemingly eager to take trainers for a ride around the pool, yet shockingly -- and unpredictably -- able to turn on them at a moment's notice. BLACKFISH unravels the complexities of this dichotomy, employing the story of notorious performing whale Tilikum, who -- unlike any orca in the wild -- has taken the lives of several people while in captivity. So what went wrong?"
"Shocking, never before seen footage and riveting interviews with trainers and experts manifest the orca's extraordinary nature, the species' cruel treatment in captivity over the last four decades and the growing disillusionment of workers who were misled and endangered by the highly profitable sea-park industry. This emotionally wrenching, tautly structured story challenges us to consider our relationship to nature and reveals how little we humans truly know about these highly intelligent, and surprisingly sentient, fellow mammals that we only think we can control."
Gabriela Cowperthwaite - Gabriela Cowperthwaite is a documentary filmmaker who for more than 12 years has directed, produced and written documentary programs for television networks including ESPN, National Geographic, Animal Planet, Discovery and History.
In 2010, Cowperthwaite completed the award winning feature length documentary, City LAX: An Urban Lacrosse Story. The film chronicles the lives of six 12-year-olds in inner-city Denver, CO, as they and their families struggle through middle school in their gang-ridden neighborhoods. City LAX was acquired by ESPN and DirectTV.
In 2009, Cowperthwaite completed a film for UCLA International Medicine in conjunction with the International Rescue Committee, which focuses on clinics in war-torn regions, with the emphasis on providing ground-breaking medical care for victims of violence. It has been translated into three different languages and will be distributed in eight countries.
Cowperthwaite, who is Los Angeles based, is currently directing a campaign for Supply and Demand, a commercial directing agency based in New York and Los Angeles.
Petition to help protect and save Orcas (US citizens only) can be signed here. Signatures are needed by January 22nd 2014, petition will then be sent to the Whitehouse