The Devastating Consequences of Captivating Killer Whales

In: Film and Music

Submitted By gabshwang
Words 819
Pages 4
We often go to watch killer whale shows without thinking twice about what really

happens behind the scenes. As an audience, we simply enjoy the show, and then leave.

But behind all the tricks and splashes, lies an ugly truth about the state of killer whales at

theme parks. In the documentary Blackfish, directed by Gabriela Cowperthwaite, killer

whales are naturally affectionate, harmless to humans, and strongly family-oriented.

However, when held captive in unnatural environments, killer whales will show a

malfunction in behavior, causing injuries and deaths of trainers. The techniques used to

show this are communicative function and illumination theory of truth.

To begin, the first technique used in this documentary is communicative function.

Communicative function is implemented to inform viewers of the message the

documentary is trying to convey. In the context of the documentary, the evidence and

statistics prove the danger that comes with captivating killer whales. For example,

Tilikum, the famous orca at SeaWorld, killed three killer whale trainers. This technique is

used to inform the viewers of the violent behavior demonstrated by captivated killer

whales. This technique allows us to observe the aggressive behavior shown by the orcas

towards its trainer. In this documentary, an OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health

Administration) expert stated, “what we learned, is that they are amazingly friendly and

understanding and intuitively wants to be our companion. And to this day, there is no

orca doing harm to a human in the wild” (Duffus, 24:18). In contrast, whales are more

violent when placed in an unnatural environment, causing them to attack their trainers.

This technique allows us to see the drastic difference in behavior and consequences of a

killer whale living freely…...

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