“Blackfish,” a film about killer whales at Seaworld, has inspired animal rights activists to lead a movement against the holding of animals in captivity.
The documentary, which is being distributed by CNN, reveals footage of Seaworld’s killer whale living conditions and focuses on the story on Tilikum, a performing whales infamous for the deaths of three people: a trespasser at Seaworld in 1999 as well as two trainers, one killed in 1991 and another in 2010. According to the narrative presented by “Blackfish,” Tilikum was driven to madness as a result of torturous treatment in captivity.
With help from the media, “Blackfish” spread across the world and has captured the attention of numerous people. This February, “Blackfish” won the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Award for Best Documentary. On March 7, California state assemblyman Richard Bloom proposed the California Orca Welfare and Safety Act that would require killer whales to be returned to sea.
SumOfUs (http://www.sumofus.org), a nationwide group motivated to “counterbalance the growing power of large corporations” and put “people over profits,” started an online petition to support the bill by voicing the opinion that animal cruelty is morally unacceptable.
The movement is having an impact at local high schools as well.
“A club at my school hosted a movie night event and showcased ‘Blackfish,’” stated Amy Liu, a junior at Canyon High school.
“I was so emotionally touched after [I saw the film],” Liu continued, “that as soon as I got home I searched the web to see if there was anything I could do to be a part of the change. That’s when I found SumOfUs and shared the website to all of my friends.”