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Blackfish [Blu-ray]

Price: £6.50 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Rent Blackfish on Blu-ray from LOVEFiLM By Post

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Blackfish [Blu-ray] + The Act of Killing [Blu-ray]
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Product details

  • Actors: Kim Ashdown, Ken Balcomb, Samantha Berg, Dave Duffus
  • Directors: Gabriela Cowperthwaite
  • Format: Blu-ray
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region B/2 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: Dogwoof
  • DVD Release Date: 11 Nov 2013
  • Run Time: 82 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (219 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,695 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


A mesmerising psychological thriller with a killer whale at its centre, Blackfish is the first film since Grizzly Man to show how nature can get revenge on man when pushed to its limits.

Blackfish tells the story of Tilikum, a performing killer whale that killed several people while in captivity. Along the way, director-producer Gabriela Cowperthwaite compiles shocking footage and emotional interviews to explore the creature's extraordinary nature, the species' cruel treatment in captivity, the lives and losses of the trainers and the pressures brought to bear by the mulit-billion dollar 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.

Sheff Doc/Fest Q&A
Exclusive commentary
Extra clips
Added subtitles

"As horribly gripping as a serial-killer thriller" The Guardian
"Save the whale? After watching, you'll never mock that sentiment again." The Independent
"Gripping and devastating" The Daily Mail
"A heartbreaking documentary, forensically constructed " The Sunday Telegraph
"The compulsion of a detective story, layered with horror and compassion" The Times
"An inherent immorality is brought thrashing to the surface" The Metro

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Larvor on 12 Sep 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I got the DVD, I've been buying from amazon for 13 years, this is my first review ...
Living in France, I just can say I've always been attracted to dolphins and whales since I can't even remember when. Maybe Free willy movies were part of it. The first thing I wanted to do when I went to California 10 years ago was to see an orca for real ... For real, meant the easy way at that time ... at sea world ... I was happy to see these beautiful creatures but already felt there was something wrong seeing them at that time. For years now, I know I will never go back and don't like the idea of them being trapped. When I heard about your movie, I couldn't wait to see it. I saw ""The Cove"" which was awful. I am a SeaShepherd supporter.
I have watched this documentary and invite everybody to watch it, I'm gonna give it to my friends to watch...
I feel sick, I am breathtaken. I have no words to describe that feeling I'm experiencing right now. Thank you for saying at loud and showing to everybody that it has to stop. I don't know what will happen, what will be done, what will work.
I just wanna say RIP to these trainers.
I'd like that Tilikum Orca to be rehabilited to wild oceans.
I'd like people to understand that we can't be selfish and monsters.
An Orca in a glass can't work.
I thank you Blackfish team and will do my best to spread the word, just like you do.
I thank you for giving me more details and arguments to criticize that shame.
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60 of 63 people found the following review helpful By G. Wetherall on 2 Jun 2013
Format: DVD
Blackfish throws up some interesting points of view in its taut 80 minutes. Exposing the ill-treatment of Killer Whales in the marine entertainment industry, it focuses the full force of its ire at the renowned SeaWorld, whilst not allowing those of its ilk to completely escape unscathed either. Using the case book of accidents, incidents and killings that have occurred on the trainers over the years, the film dives into the history of the practice. Choosing to canvass opinion and eye-witness accounts, the lid is well and truly lifted on the captive treatment of the species of orca commonly known as Blackfish.

This is whistle-blowing cinema that peeks behind the veiled curtain to deliver a suspected but up to now unseen `truth'. It spews with a barely contained rage and the fact that there is no counter view provided by SeaWorld (they apparently declined to comment), makes this an inherently lop-sided film. It is effectively a pro-animal rights soliloquy. However, quite how SeaWorld could have constructed an argument to deflect the evidence against them would have perhaps left a task more gargantuan than the exceptionally large whale, Tilikum, who lies at the centre of this film. Tilikum is the beating heart and glue of this sprawling piece, who is famous for his size and infamous for his capacity to `lunge' at his trainers.

We hear tale after tale of inconsistent and volatile behaviour from him. We also hear heart-rending stories of how he is bullied by the smaller and more agile females, along with hours of isolation and a complete and utter lack of stimulation that makes up the bulk of his confined life.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Orca Boy on 5 Aug 2013
Format: DVD
In one of the most powerful and thought-provoking documentaries in a generation, Blackfish turns the spotlight on humankind's selfish desire to confine large, charismatic marine mammals in a captive situation for our viewing pleasure. Gabriela Cowperthwaite's important film could have so easily been labelled `just another activist film' but this is different - our narrators here, for the most part, are `industry' i.e. ex-marine mammal trainers who have decided to speak out on the culture, the management style and the monstrous PR machine that exists at one of America's most identifiable brands - SeaWorld.
The trainers don't have an axe to grind as many left the industry years ago and have gone on to establish successful careers in other disciplines. Neither were they rewarded financially for their contribution to the film. Blackfish draws aside the thin façade that hides the dark underbelly of the captivity industry and arms the filmgoer with the facts allowing them to finally dispel the myth behind the Shamu label.
In a searingly honest and candid account of their time at SeaWorld, the trainers eloquently talk about their frustrations with the job and about how controlling senior management could be if they didn't toe the corporate line. The trainers openly and honestly acknowledge that they had doubts and questions about the whales' behaviour and the trainer's working practices but didn't dare raise them so as not to jeopardise their own positions.
Just as the orcas are deprived of food if they miss a cue or don't perform correctly during showtime, their trainers feared that they too may be `deprived' of working with the whales if they were to speak out on any welfare or safety concerns they may have had.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By All of them Witches TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 31 July 2013
Format: DVD
Blackfish is a powerful and shameful documentary exposing the cruelty and unsuitability of containing killer whales at theme parks focusing on one Orca in particular, Tilikum, who has been involved in a number of animal trainer attacks and fatalities.

Tilikum was originally captured from the wild, removed from his family pod and and has been kept for 30 years or so in a series of glorified swimming pools and holding pens where he is used to perform 'tricks' for the amusement of paying customers and his sperm regularly taken to maintain the captive killer whale population in similar 'attractions' Male adult killer whales are in excess of 20 feet in length and 6 tons in weight and can an do travel up to 100 miles daily.

One of the interesting elements of the film was the psychological impact upon the trainers represented within the film. Most of the five or so had visited a seaworld type establishment when young and had thereafter harboured ambitions to work as a trainer with these animals. Eventually all bar one of those represented here, eventually grew disillusioned with their roles having witnessed the injuries the whales inflicted upon each other; the separation of mothers and calves, unstimulating environment for the whales and unpredictable behaviour of the animals in their charge. It is clear that the Seaworld organisation are very effective at protecting their cash cows in the form of slick marketing, misinformation and manipulation. Many of the trainers grew very attached and developed strong emotional bonds to various whales with one stating that the reason he stayed in post for so long despite his increasing unease was the fear of what would become of 'his' whale once he left.
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