Click here to read Part 1 of this series.
“I had to decide that my structure was going to be to tell the truthful, fact-driven narrative from beginning to end, following Tilikum’s trajectory through the eyes of the former trainers, that I can just tell the truth and lay out the facts. Someone said that if you try too hard to do “on the one hand, but then on the other hand,” you may become faithless to the truth. And so, if I just promise myself that I would not sensationalize, not shoehorn information in there that will manipulate people into feeling things and stick to the fact-driven story, then that is a story that people need to hear.“
Gabriela Cowperthwaite, describing Blackfish (available at http://collider.com/gabriela-cowperthwaite-jeffrey-ventre-blackfish-interview/).
Is this accurate? Is Blackfish really just an un-sensationalized piece of documentary film-making that doesn’t try to “manipulate people into feeling things?” Does Blackfish simply “stick to a fact-driven story?” That’s the question and the point of this series. Ms. Cowperthwaite has given interviews to at least two media outlets claiming that Blackfish is just a straightforward presentation of “fact driven narrative,” without advocacy. I do not see how that can be a credible claim given the inherent bias of the people involved (the discussion of my last entry), the structure and film-making tricks used seemingly for the sole purpose of “manipulate[ing] people” into considering only one side (the subject of this piece), and the inconsistent and sometimes demonstrably incorrect statements presented in the film (the subject of the next, and last, piece).