Sorry, Game of Thrones fans – Blackfish isn’t an in-depth look at the life of Ser Brynden Tully.
Instead, it’s an in-depth look at Tilikum, a bull orca who was born in the wild, captured by humans when he was three years old, and trained to perform at theme parks like Sealand of the Pacific and Orlando’s flagship SeaWorld. He’s best known, though, for being involved in the deaths of three different people – including veteran SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau in 2010.
The trailer combines haunting footage of Dawn and Tilikum with quotes from talking heads who explain how captivity wreaks havoc on orcas – and how these “killer” whales are only killers because they’ve essentially been driven crazy by their living conditions. (So this is why that kid wanted to free Willy.) Overall, Blackfish looks like a marine-themed exposé as fascinating and horrifying as 2009’s The Cove – as well as a film that’ll make you feel really, really bad for ever owning a Shamu stuffed animal.
Blackfish, which debuted at Sundance, opens July 19.
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