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Family Movie Review: Blackfish (PG-13)

Blackfish ChesapeakeFamilyMovieReviewKernel Rating (out of 5): whole-popcorn-kernalwhole-popcorn-kernalwhole-popcorn-kernalwhole-popcorn-kernal

MPAA Rating: PG-13         Length: 83 minutes

Age Appropriate For: 13+. The movie is about the harmful treatment of orca whales in captivity, which can lead to violence against each other and against humans; that translates in a lot of mature thematic content here, like tense scenes of whales dragging humans underwater and others of whales biting and attacking each other. But the violence serves the purpose of the documentary, and is never exploitative or unnecessary.

Director Gabriela Cowperthwaite spoke with Chesapeake Family about her documentary ‘Blackfish,’ which considers how the orca whale Tilikum has played a role in the death of three people. How SeaWorld has worked to cover up Tilikum’s violence and how animals are treated in captivity are important topics for parents and children alike, Cowperthwaite says.

By Roxana Hadadi

Where do you go on your family vacations? National monuments, zoos, perhaps even a water park? If SeaWorld has been a choice for you, then director Gabriela Cowperthwaite’s documentary “Blackfish” will make you never want to go back there again. In its withering analysis of the water park, its treatment of orca whale Tilikum—which has been involved in the deaths of three individuals—and its refusal to accept any responsibility for Tilikum’s actions, “Blackfish” is not in any way an easy documentary to watch, but it is an overwhelmingly affective and important one.

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