Sea World’s Dark Secrets revealed in Blackfish

Are you considering a trip to Sea World? Before doing so, take a moment to watch the new full length trailer released by CNN films of Blackfish.

Blackfish is the Sundance decuting film about killer whales in captivity and their propensity of living up to their namesake. 

The haunting footage revolves mostly around one whale, Tilikum, responsible for the very public and very horrifying death of a Sea World trainer in 2010.

Are these animals truly killers, or did we make them into killers when we stuck them inside a tank and made them perform for  crowds? That seems to be the essential question at the heart of Gabriela Cowperthwaite’s unsettling documentary.

Watch the trailer for Blackfish:

Blackfish opens in limited release July 19. Here’s the official synopsis:

Many of us have experienced the excitement and awe of watching 8,000 pound orcas, or “killer whales,” soar out of the water and fly through the air at sea parks, as if in perfect harmony with their trainers. Yet, in our contemporary lore this mighty black and white mammal is like a two-faced Janus—beloved as a majestic, friendly giant yet infamous for its capacity to kill viciously. Blackfish unravels the complexities of this dichotomy, employing the story of notorious performing whale Tilikum, who—unlike any orca in the wild—has taken the lives of several people while in captivity. So what exactly went wrong?

Shocking, never before seen footage and riveting interviews with trainers and experts manifest the orca’s extraordinary nature, the species’ cruel treatment in captivity over the last four decades and the growing disillusionment of workers who were misled and endangered by the highly profitable sea-park industry. This emotionally wrenching, tautly structured story challenges us to consider our relationship to nature and reveals how little we humans have learned from these highly intelligent and enormously sentient fellow mammals.


revolution-37“Change starts with education. If people are aware of their impact on the earth, they’ll make smarter choices.” -Rob Stewart

Revolution – film about changing the world. The true-life adventure of Rob Stewart, this follow-up to his acclaimed SHARKWATER documentary continues his remarkable journey; one that will take him through 15 countries over four years, and where he’ll discover that it’s not only sharks that are in grave danger — it’s humanity itself.

In an effort to uncover the truth and find the secret to saving the ecosystems we depend on for survival, Stewart embarks on a life-threatening adventure. From the coral reefs in Papua New Guinea and deforestation in Madagascar to the largest and most destructive environmental project in history in Alberta, Canada, he reveals that all of our actions are interconnected and that environmental degradation, species loss, ocean acidification, pollution and food/water scarcity are reducing the Earth’s ability to house humans. How did this happen, and what will it take to change the course that humanity has set itself on?

Travelling the globe to meet with the dedicated individuals and organizations working on a solution, Stewart finds encouragement and hope, pointing to the revolutions of the past and how we’ve evolved and changed our course in times of necessity. If people were informed about what was really going on, they would fight for their future — and the future of other generations. From the evolution of our species to the revolution to save it, Stewart and his team take viewers on a groundbreaking mission into the greatest war ever waged.

Startling, beautiful, and provocative, Revolution inspires audiences from across the globe to start a revolution and change the world forever.


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Minds in the Water … Another must see!

Minds in the Water – 5 years in the making, Minds In The Water is the story of one surfer’s international journey to help protect dolphins, whales and their ocean environment. Shot on location in Australia, the Galapagos, Chile and Japan, the film captures a key moment in one person’s life when apathy is no longer an option. Pro surfer Dave Rastovich went from observer to activist when he embarked on a personal mission to help stop the worldwide commercial slaughter of dolphins and whales. While unsure at first, Rasta quickly found his activist sea legs and helped build a core team of filmmakers, journalists, musicians, eco-pirates and celebrity surfers to help spread the message. All this has been documented in the film, Minds In The Water. (Source)

Sharks, A Whale & Eco-Pirate – Must see documentaries!

Sharkwater: For filmmaker Rob Stewart, exploring sharks began as an underwater adventure. What it turned into was a beautiful and dangerous life journey into the balance of life on earth. riven by passion fed from a lifelong fascination with sharks, Stewart debunks historical stereotypes and media depictions of sharks as bloodthirsty, man-eating monsters and reveals the reality of sharks as pillars in the evolution of the seas. Filmed in visually stunning, high definition video, Sharkwater takes you into the most shark rich waters of the world, exposing the exploitation and corruption surrounding the world’s shark populations in the marine reserves of Cocos Island, Costa Rica and the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador.

The Whale: tells the true story of a young, wild killer whale – an orca – nicknamed Luna, who lost contact with his family on the coast of British Columbia and turned up alone in a narrow stretch of sea between mountains, a place called Nootka Sound. Orcas are social. They live with their families all their lives. An orca who gets separated usually just fades away and dies. Luna was alone, but he didn’t fade away. There weren’t any familiar orcas in Nootka Sound, but there were people, in boats and on the shore. So he started trying to make contact. And people welcomed him. Most of them. This contact did not turn out to be simple. It was as if we humans weren’t ready for him. THE WHALE celebrates the life of a smart, friendly, determined, transcendent being from the other world of the sea who appeared among us like a promise out of the blue: that the greatest secrets in life are still to be discovered.

Eco-Pirate: The Story of Paul Watson: “Eco-Pirate” tells the story of a man on a mission to save the planet and its oceans. The film follows professional radical ecologist, Captain Paul Watson as he repeatedly flouts the law, so that he may apprehend what he sees as the more serious law-breakers: the illegal poachers of the world. Using verité sequences shot aboard his ship as a framing device, the documentary examines Watson’s personal history as an activist through archival footage and interviews, while revealing the impact of this relentless pursuit on his personal life. From the genesis of Greenpeace to sinking a pirate whaling ship off Portugal, and from clashes with fisherman in the Galapagos to Watson’s recent headline-grabbing battles with the Japanese whaling fleet in Antarctica, the film chronicles the extraordinary life of the most controversial figure in the environmental movement; the heroics, the ego, the urgency of the world’s original eco-pirate.

For the oceans!

What the Captive Marine Mammal Industry Doesn’t Want You to See!

Here are three films the captive marine mammal industry does not want you to see!

The Cove: Using state-of-the-art equipment, a group of activists, led by renowned dolphin trainer Ric O’Barry, infiltrate a cove near Taijii, Japan to expose both a shocking instance of animal abuse and a serious threat to human health.

A Fall From Freedom: The first comprehensive film to reveal the long and sordid history of the captive whale and dolphin entertainment business. Many of these marine parks and aquariums are directly or indirectly responsible for the death of thousands of the very animals they use for public entertainment. Premature deaths. Trainer injuries. Illegal practices. Educational misrepresentation. Government incompetence. Secret deals. These and many other issues are presented, and documented for the first time in this powerful documentary, narrated by actor Mike Farrell.

Blackfish: Notorious killer whale Tilikum is responsible for the deaths of three individuals, including a top killer whale trainer. Blackfish shows the sometimes devastating consequences of keeping such intelligent and sentient creatures in captivity.


Shallow Water Deep Secret


The documentary, The Cove, is in part responsible for what some people call “the 180” I recently took in life. Finally getting up the nerve and deciding to watch The Cove was a life changing experience for me. Prior to the release of this documentary I was completely unaware of the annual dolphin drive hunt that takes place each year in Taiji Japan.

I’ve heard many people say that they simply do not want to watch The Cove, because it’s sad and they do not want to see the slaughter of dolphins. To those people who are afraid and unwilling to watch this documentary, I say just take an hour and half out of your life, watch it and become educated! People watch violence in movies all the time, but when it comes to real life, there are many people who do not want to believe it actually happens. Don’t turn a blind eye to what really happens, take the time, and watch The Cove! I guarantee it will change your perspective on dolphin captivity.

This is a brilliant documentary and the lengths the individuals involved in the film were willing to go to expose the dolphin slaughter is amazing! For instance, going out in the middle of the night and hiding high definition cameras in rocks to record video from vantage points that would have never have been seen before. Sending free divers into the waters of the Cove to place under water cameras and sound recorders. The Cove is a combination of Mission Impossible and Ocean’s Eleven. A team made up of people with special skills, filming what was believed to be the impossible! Mission accomplished and ingeniously done!

For myself, The Cove was a catalyst for change in my life. I have since become more involved, by following the various campaigns currently on the ground in Taiji, who bear witness to the annual slaughter.  I have chosen to take a stance against the dolphin slaughter, by informing others of what is still happening in Taiji and will one day stand at the infamous Cove in Taiji to be a voice for the dolphins. And I will certainly never visit another aquarium, Sea World, Marine Park or swim with dolphin program again, if I had known what I know now I would have never visited any of these places in the first place.

Highlights of The Cove:

  • Taiji appears as the Twilight Zone (in the words of Ric O’Barry) – the town appears to love dolphins and whales – there are dolphin and whale statues throughout the town, everywhere you look in Taiji there is an image of a dolphin or whale – when in reality they are responsible for the mass of slaughter of dolphins and whales each and every year
  • The Dolphin Smile – is natures greatest deception – while that dolphin performing tricks for your entertainment has a smile – take a look at its eye and you will see the true sadness that hides behind the smile
  • Only in Taiji can you go to a Dolphin Show and eat dolphin meat at the same time – that’s right they serve dolphin meat at the show. So while you are sitting there watching dolphins perform tricks your entertainment, you may also be eating that dolphins family member.
  • Taiji is the largest supplier of dolphins to marine parks and swim with dolphins programs around the world – each dolphin can sell for up to $150,000
  • The majority of Japanese people are unaware of the annual dolphin slaughter in Taiji – when one Japanese lady was interviewed in the film her response was “You’re lying? Are they eaten? Really, it is hard to imagine people eat dolphins.”
  • Dolphin meat is distributed as whale meat and is not properly labelled – people think they are getting whale meat from the southern hemisphere when its really from the waters of Taiji
  • The last 10 minutes of the film are when you see the real horror of Taiji – you literally see the water turn from blue to red, you can hear the dolphins cry as they are inhumanely slaughtered and see the true brutality of the dolphin killers. Each of these dolphins fight with everything they have and you watch as these innocent beings struggle to take their last breath and die
  • One of the most powerful parts of The Cove is in the last five minutes, when Ric O’Barry walks into the International Whaling Commission’s annual meeting with a TV attached to his chest, showing every person in the room the reality of the dolphin slaughter each and every year in Taiji

The Taiji dolphin slaughter resumes every year in September … unless we stop it!

“Any single person can make a difference if he allows his passion to be expressed through action” Margaret Mead

Here is an extended clip of The Cove.

The Cove is a 2009 documentary film that analyzes and questions Japan’s dolphin hunting culture. It was awarded the (82nd) Academy Award  for Best Documentary Feature in 2010. The film is a call to action to halt mass dolphin kills, change Japanese fishing practices, and to inform and educate the public about the risks, and increasing hazard, of mercury poisoning from dolphin meat. The film is told from an ocean conservationist’s point of view. The film highlights the fact that the number of dolphins killed in the Taiji dolphin drive hunting is several times greater than the number of whales killed in the Antarctic, and claims that 23,000 dolphins and porpoises are killed in Japan every year by the country’s whaling industry. The migrating dolphins are herded into a cove where they are netted and killed by means of spears and knives over the side of small fishing boats. The film argues that dolphin hunting as practiced in Japan is unnecessary and cruel. The documentary won the U.S. Audience Award at the 25th annual Sundance Film Festival in January 2009. It was selected out of the 879 submissions in the category.

For the dolphins!