During the Autumn, my sleepy little community has a little film festival, and this year I was fortunate enough to see Blackfish. If you haven’t heard about it, Blackfish is a moving documentary about orcas in captivity and follows the life of one whale in particular named Tilikum.
Orcas have been one of my favourite animals since I was a small child. I would spend hours reading about them, drawing them, and hours in the local pool, imagining I was one of them. I don’t live near any aquariums and I have never seen an orca in real life, so, for whatever reason, I never really considered what it meant for them to be kept in captivity.
This film opened my eyes.
At first I was utterly enraged by the things I learned. Well, I’m still enraged, but the red has left my eyes and I no longer want to just hit people with lead pipes and try to set orcas free a la Free Willy. However, I am just one woman. I live in a mountain town, far away from the ocean or any sea life parks. I don’t have an education in marine biology, or anything like that and I definitely don’t have a lot of money to donate. So, what can I do?
The only thing I can really do is help spread the word and get people talking and thinking about cetaceans in captivity.
So I’ve had a crazy little idea.
Today the documentary becomes available on Itunes, DVD, and Blue-Ray. I plan to buy myself a copy, obviously, but I’m also going to buy two extra copies of the DVD. I’m going to give them to two people I know and I’m going to ask them to watch it. If they are as moved as I am, I’m hoping they will pass the DVD onto someone else, and so on and so forth. If not, I ask they give/mail it back to me. I realize that this may not work, that someone is just going to throw it on a shelf somewhere, and forget about it, but at least I tried.
And that’s something.