Monday, May 11, 2015

Book/Movie Review: Blackfish Directed by Gabriela Cowperthwaite and Beneath the Surface: Killer Whales, SeaWorld, and the Truth Beyond Blackfish by John Hargrove

Ok so I've been meaning to watch the movie Blackfish ever since I first heard the rumblings about it. I had heard about it when it aired at Sundance and knew that despite the fact that it would break my heart I HAD to watch it. Well, I put it off and put it off. Then I saw John Hargrove on The Daily Show and I knew I had to finally watch it. Well, first I read John Hargrove's book Beneath the Surface.

After seeing him on The Daily Show I decided to get a hold of a copy of his book as soon as I could. Beneath the Surface is a sad heartbreaking tale of a Sea World trainer who loved his job and loved the animals he worked with till he slowly came to the realization of just how greedy the Sea World Corporation is. The book details just what a trainer goes through from how they become one to the break down and wear and tear on their bodies. The bond between the trainer and the whales are undeniable. My biggest problem with the book is that often he would go off on a tangent and keep branching off from that tangent so it sometimes made it hard to follow where he was going with a chapter. The book is far more in depth than the movie and goes into more details of the attacks, trainers lives, and Johns own experiences. John contributed to the movie Blackfish.

Blackfish was truly heart breaking for me. The videos are haunting and hearing the tales from the
trainers and experts made me tear up. I remember as a very little girl visiting Sea World in Orlando and being enchanted by all the animals. I remember watching the trainers perform with the whales and I remember being scared by the shear size of the whales. The moments the whales would toss the humans up high in the air were breath taking. Now as an adult and knowing what I know from seeing both Blackfish and reading Hargroves book I feel nothing but guilt. Guilt that we humans allow such abuse to continue to this day.

I give both Blackfish and Beneath the Surface 5 out of 5 stars.

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