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Blackfish: Free Willy Or False Dichotomy

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Blackfish is a deeply moving story about the cruel treatment of orcas held in captivity in marine parks. It evokes sadness and anger in the viewer by depicting the barbaric treatment of these beautiful creatures in places that are too small and contained for these large creatures of the open ocean. But the question needs to be asked: Is this an unbiased documentary, inclusive of the whole truth? Could a closer look at the industry reveal another perspective or even an alarming/sinister plot to defame SeaWorld and other well known marine parks?

Was Blackfish just Propaganda and False Facts?

At first glance, all people will feel moved by this film but as all people should know about media you can’t always take everything at face value. If you do more research in the marine life industry you will find that wild animal catching has been illegal in most countries since 1972. The film is very misleading in this regard. It goes to great lengths to detail the barbaric practice of catching orcas, hinting that all orca are still caught like this today when in actuality they have not for all most 50 years. If the creators of Blackfish really cared about suffering animals then why not target places like Asia that still catch or kill animals like this. In Blackfish the people act as it would just be better if they were to release the animals into the open oceans but in reality, this would worse for the orcas. In marine parks, the orcas have food but in the open ocean without a proper pod of other whales, the orcas have no chance of survival; their fate is sealed when they are released into the wild. In Blackfish lots of special video and lighting forms are developed to give a depressing feel that make you pity the poor orcas

Did Blackfish use fake and misleading actors?

If someone were to dig deep enough into the documentary of Blackfish they would find more and more deceit and lies, hidden long enough, just so that the film could do well during the awards season. For a start, the main ‘biology expert’ in the film is not an ‘expert’ but is just an extremist. They could find some information about three of the trainers in the film and how they either had limited experience or outdated and lacking knowledge. The outdated trainers were at least 20 years out modelled since the program changed drastically. Some of the trainers in the film never work with whales and some were ‘removed’ or fired for mistreatment of animals. There are so many more lies and untruths woven into Blackfish, but the point is that these people are neither the most qualified spokesmen or credible sources but the documentary sure puts a lot of effort into making it look like they are. At one point in the movie, Samantha, a trainer talks about her first time in the water with orcas and it shows film of a similar looking girl in the water with a killer whale, even though Samantha has never been swimming with an orca. When the director of the film found out that a former SeaWorld trainer was soon to be publicly announcing a great deal of the lies she was discretely asked to “please wait until after award season to criticize Blackfish.” The director never appeared to care about anything her documentary seemed to stand for but her only thoughts went to increasing her ratings, sales and “success” as a director.

What has Sea World really done?

Many trainers from around the world have been outraged by the Blackfish documentary and for good reason considering all the good SeaWorld have done. SeaWorld out of its own pocket, have pulled enough money for the very best biologists, mammal scientists, care specialists and veterinarians to research and help all kinds of injured animals and through this they have rescued, rehabilitated and released about forty thousand marine animals, back into their natural habitat. Blackfish’s’ message never would have been as effective if this side of the story was ever told.


In my personal opinion, I believe that Blackfish is a wonderful documentary, and like all documentaries, is extremely biased showing only what is necessary for you to see without becoming suspicious that you have been completely brainwashed but still shows you enough, whether or not it is true does not matter, to make you blindly follow their point. Blackfish sure has some wonderful views and points in it, not all are the best decisions for the orcas but the way the producer used deceit to get the message across was very clever but too dishonest to take lightly so I would think that Blackfish would forever remain as a good example of classic dishonest documentary but never be used as a factual base.

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Blackfish: Free Willy Or False Dichotomy. (2021, November 22). GradesFixer. Retrieved February 9, 2023, from
“Blackfish: Free Willy Or False Dichotomy.” GradesFixer, 22 Nov. 2021,
Blackfish: Free Willy Or False Dichotomy. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 9 Feb. 2023].
Blackfish: Free Willy Or False Dichotomy [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2021 Nov 22 [cited 2023 Feb 9]. Available from:
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