Pause for kids 13 & under
Powerful, heartbreaking, disturbing doc about captive orcas.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Blackfish is a documentary about captive whales that perform at theme parks and sometimes attack and kill humans. The movie claims that whales in the wild are generally peaceful, intelligent, and emotional creatures and that their treatment at the hands of corporate theme parks possibly created anxiety and frustration that led to the attacks. It contains some disturbing imagery, including wounded whales, some real blood (from both whales and humans), and video footage of actual attacks. More violence is verbally described but not shown. There is frank discussion of the breeding of whales, including a shot of what could be a whale's penis. The movie contains some occasional strong language, including one use of "s--t" and some uses of "damn" and "hell." SeaWorld ads are shown, and some of their products (stuffed toys whales) are shown. It's not for young kids, and it can be disturbing, but this is a powerful, effective documentary for teens and up.
- Families can talk about the movie's violence. Could this story have been told as effectively without the blood, attacks, and injuries shown?
- Does this movie make a good argument for closing sea parks for good? What could be an argument for keeping them open?
- How does Blackfish compare with The Cove, a movie about the mistreatment of dolphins? What makes humans do these sorts of things?