Film Capsule: Blackfish

Blackfish is one of the best documentaries of the year, a significantly touching piece of rhetoric that evokes equal fits of pain, anger, sadness and empathy. A great deal of the commentary included in the film – almost all of which was provided by whale experts and ex-Sea World employees – is extremely pro-mammal, veering toward the rather obvious conclusion that these creatures were never meant to be isolated (I mean, we’re talking about killer whales here, for Christ’s sake. What further proof do you need?).

Anyway, Blackfish is not only an important documentary, it’s easily the most fascinating new release you’re likely to come across this weekend. This film makes a poignant enough argument that the current Sea World PR machine is falling all over itself in an ongoing effort to discredit the whole thing. Thematically, Blackfish strikes a familiar chord, one that we’ve heard resonate several times via pulpits and protests, newspapers and movies, political campaigns and government hearings. Namely, why in the world does profit motive always seem to trump just about every rational argument for human dignity and decency?

Sadly, I’m fairly certain we all know the answer.

(Blackfish arrives in limited release today.)