Blackfish essay prac
Animals born in the wild suffer physically and mentally when they are brought into captivity. This is evident in the documentary Blackfish, directed by Gabriela Cowperthwaite, which investigates the treatment of whales within captivity of animal theme parks like SeaWorld. The films main point of view is to alert the general public that these whales aren’t normally aggressive until they are taken from the wild and forced into the theme parks. The film points out that whales in the theme parks are very aggressive with not only each other but also the trainers. While the trainer’s lives are in danger from the whales, the whales themselves are subject to raking from each other causing unnecessary injuries. The juxtaposition of cinematography, mise en scene, sound and editing all help to provide a negative point of view of a very controversial idea of keeping whales captive in an unnatural habitat.
Cinematography has been used almost entirely through the film. Cowperthwaite has used different camera angles, distances and juxtaposition to provide her opinion on keeping whales in captivity. The use of juxtaposition has been effective in separating the two environments, the wild and captivity. Cowperthwaite has used camera distance to show how small space the whales have to swim in. Whether it be a close-up or a mid-shot of the pool showing how much space the orca takes up, or a long shot of the entire pool showing how all the whale does is swim in circles and can barely move, it creates an awful feeling for the viewer. This has been juxtaposed to the ocean, where the director has used extra-long shots to make the viewer feel like the ocean is calm, spacious and very enticing for the whales, a place where the whales would enjoy. Through the use of cinematography, which includes camera angles, distances and juxtaposition, has effectively been used to communicate the controversial idea of animal captivity.
Cowperthwaite has used the juxtaposition of archival footage and interviews to communicate her idea on the topic of animal captivity. Interviews have effectively been used throughout the film to include a real life point of view within the film. Instead of trying to persuade the viewer with lots of facts and information, she has included real life interviews with ex-trainers and real archival footage from security cameras and mobile phone footage from the live spectators to inform the viewers of the film the devastating impact captivity does to these animals. There is one scene where a man is being interviewed, and he is describing an accident involving the main whale within the film Tilikum, who almost drowned a veteran trainer. As soon as the man’s description of the incident concludes, Cowperthwaite backs up the man with archival footage of the actual incident. Juxtaposition has created a scene of negativity where the viewer is provided with two forms of visual proof of the aggressive act from the whale, causing the viewer to consider their opinion of the controversial topic.