Black Fish explores the issues relating to the captivity of Orca’s, most commonly known as Killer Whales. From the early days of capturing through to the inevitable mishandling of these intensely intelligent animals and subsequent deaths of trainers. Black Fish pours over many incidents during the last 30+ years detailing the attempts of Sea World to cover up the never ending PR nightmares that come with keeping killer whales captive. Ultimately the message from Black Fish is the same with any and all captive animals. They are not at all meant for captivity for the purpose of our entertainment. As stated in the film we will look back in 50 years and think “how barbaric”. Why can’t we think that now and bring these senseless money grabbing acts to an end.
Louis theroux is known for tackling sensitive subjects head on. He approaches and questions with a casual innocence more alike to a regular citizen rather than an investigative reporter. This allows him to often get inside the defense of his human targets and get answers to questions we all want answered. The African hunting party is yet another documentary in the long line of penetrating documentaries involving louis Theroux, which answers questions but also raises more questions. Louis’ questions are an attempt to find a personal view from those running game park hunting and often angry and borderline violent reactions shows somewhat a level of guilt felt by those running these parks. Louis tackles the sensitive subjects in his interviews without fear but yet so innocently that most of the time the subject being interviewed isn’t aware of it and sometimes made to look like a complete fool.
Along with the instigators of game park hunting are the insights to those that pay good money for the opportunity. Mostly coming form the United States, the prospect of big game hunting is too big to ignore for the rich who can afford the lofty price tag of taking down rhino or an elephant. The bigger the game the bigger the price tag. To see the mind set of these people is truly saddening and this documentary will shock you in many ways. This documentary along with any other louis Theroux documentaries is a must watch.
Being a BBC production the documentaries such as this don’t take that next step. These kind of docos are more of a subjective view than presented as a way to get involved, help and stop the ridiculous practices that are being carried out for the sake of some cash. I find it a big let down with such well made documentaries could go much further and actually make a difference as opposed to just telling the story and presenting facts. The impact of this doco is incredible but I only wish Louis and the BBC crew would take more of a stance. I guess though that make things literally impossible if they were openly against some of the subjects of these documentaries as opposed to finding and presenting the facts.
This documentary takes a different approach. Throughout there is no commentary, but the use of simply the sound of forest destruction, factories and the silence of death make this ever more compelling. Brilliantly edited the documentary shows the tragic circumstances that surround the orangutans of Sumatra from the destruction of their habitat. Following the life and subsequent death of one displaced orangutan gives purity to message that needs to shared. Very compelling.
Perhaps one of the most moving documentaries of the last ten years is The Cove. One man Rick O’barry is trying to stop the dolphin trade he played a large part in starting. A small cove on the coast of Japan is the focal point for this documentary where an annual hunt for dolphins is held. A small selection of dolphins are sent off to water parks around the world while the rest of the dolphins are brutally slaughtered and sold to the local markets. Rick O’Barry does not hold back in his attempt to stop the Japanese from continuing this barbaric tradition. You will be empowered once you watch this documentary. A must watch.