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 multi-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.
Gabriela Cowperthwaite is a documentary filmmaker who for more than 12 years has directed, produced and written documentary programs for television networks including ESPN, National Geographic, Animal Planet, Discovery, and the History Channel. In 2010, Cowperthwaite completed the award-winning feature-length documentary, City LAX: An Urban Lacrosse Story. The film chronicles the lives of six 12-year-olds in inner-city Denver, CO, as they and their families struggle through middle school in their gang-ridden neighbourhoods. City LAX was acquired by ESPN and DirectTV. In 2009, Cowperthwaite completed a film for UCLA International Medicine in conjunction with the International Rescue Committee, which focuses on clinics in war-torn regions, with the emphasis on providing ground-breaking medical care for victims of violence. It is being translated into three different languages and will be distributed in eight countries. Cowperthwaite is currently directing a campaign for Supply and Demand, a commercial directing agency based in New York and Los Angeles. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and six-year-old twin sons.