Sunday, 3 November 2013


Without doubt this is a worthwhile well intentioned cinema production altho I do have certain strong misgivings that I intend to express below.

Towards the very end of this film which is about the disgusting murderous capture and unending incarceration of huge black whales (hence the film title) there is a particular sequence highlighted. This is when one long captured whale nicknamed TILIKUM shown above and - CLICK HERE - turns on one of its so-called female "trainers" and savages her fatally. In unpicking the alleged false original narrative given afterwards to this fatal event by SeaWorld and the contemporary USA media, the film for the first and pretty well the only film sequence points up that small dead fish were being singularly given to TILIKUM whale AS IT PERFORMED its various antics - obviously because the tit bits were an integral part of TILIKUM's programmed captivity TRAINING and action tactics.

However this film production very very surprisingly indeed gave absolutely NO FULL INFORMATION about how the said WHALES while in captivity for financial and entertainment purposes were actually TAUGHT TO PERFORM their antics - this was a surprising omission given that there seemed no shortage of TRAINERS of the WHALES WHILE IN CAPTIVITY. We are talking here of "TRAINERS" who have now in fact seen the light and who WITH THIS PRODUCTION have decided to help end the BLACKFISH in captivity industry. In the film on camera they seemed earnest enough on the face of it so why no information whatsoever on how these enormous whales were "trained" (aka forced) to perform in ways and conditions that were absolutely not natural for them at all.

Not a single filmed ex trainer - or the films producers - felt it worthwhile to explain how such creatures could HAVE BEEN MADE to so perfom/ behave. Not a single clue. Well as I've written above in paragraph one perhaps just momentarily the film producers by implication did show a clue when they pointedly observed that TILIKUM WHALE'S single tiny fish tit bit treats given singularly while actually performing had pretty well run out when it TILIKUM had decided to suddenly attack and kill one of its long established female trainers. That is the only moment on my recollecton when
>>> whale FEEDING while in captivity <<< 
is highlighted but it fails to tell the full story and state whether TRAINERS were part and parcel of a tit bits starvation regime which had helped to get the imprisoned whales to do their performance routines.

The film is earnest and very obviously well intentioned in the aspiration that enormous whales should not be captured and killed for entertainment purposes. But the so called entertainments which the whales peform are not normal whale antics and so how on earth are they got to learn and perform them?  For a clue read on. What motivates the Whales???

The Whales are routinely starved and fed only during their routine training and performances because only if the starving creatures then do get their tit bits of food will they learn or perform the routines. Because of this the trainers know that this has been the case hands down. So why did non of those on the face of it coming clean in BLACKFISH not absolutely point that out?  Probably they did not voice these feeding/ starvation tactical processes because that would have so graphically showed how they too had been very very willing to coerce and starve the creatures until willy nilly they had a change of heart.  So, why do I believe this - it is because my old Scottish father born in 1899 had in the early 1920's toured from Scotland throughout the UK, EUROPE and the USA with a Circus and helped with SEA LIONS and other creatures and grew to absolutely detest Circus creature incarceration and until his death always absolutely swore that the creatures were only coerced to perfom because before so performing they were kept absolutely starved.

The above starvation aspect of BLACKFISH torture and maltreatment was NOT articulated in the BLACKFISH film - very stringent criticisms of SeaWorld itself were articulated but routine starvation of the WHALES by their "seen the light" trainers was NOT articulated. The film simply projects the general theme that the acquatic spacial enviroment for WHALES is obviously too cruel and restrictive but the underlying STARVATION of whales BY THEIR TRAINERS WAS NOT ARTICULATED. Maybe they were too ashamed and it would have left them feeling less BIG HEARTED after all. Most of the critics in the film were ex TRAINERS so they well knew what was NOT being articulated.

The current editon of the LAMBETH freebee propaganda publication WEEKENDER (1 Nov 2013) at page 3 (OPEN HERE AND SEARCH) has a longish plug for the BLACKFISH production claiming that the film does articulate the starvation shortcoming - the film absolutely did not when I saw it at the BRIXTON RITZY in the mid summer period and subsequently I wrote to the film distributors and got no acknowledgement of any kind. Maybe a distributor PR number is now being articulated to cover the omission.

The purpose of this critique is NOT to suggest boycott this film - 
it is to record a level of disappointment. 



At 3 November 2013 at 11:17 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Comments seem sound to me.I'm not clear :: did the trainers become ex-trainers because one of their number had been attacked ? Julius

At 3 November 2013 at 13:47 , Blogger Ian Cameron aka KILROY WAS-A-HERO said...

The trainers probably had varying reasons over time for jacking it in and certainly some must have done so in the light of SeaWorld whale attacks and the death of one very experienced trainer by TALIKUM. Obviously they had to generally look back and explain their disillusion and the film's intention is to help stop WHALES ending up in such captivity. There are integral legal objectives also being pursued.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home