I’m admittedly skeptical about a lot of animal-rights documentaries. I’m a meat-eater, and it feels hypocritical of me to choose to be outraged over the treatment of one animal while enjoying bacon.
This film, however, does a good job of demonstrating how intelligent and social orcas are, and more to the point, if you don’t have to be cruel, don’t be. But at least as galling as the treatment of the animals is the treatment of the SeaWorld employees, who are under-informed about and under-prepared for the danger of their jobs. SeaWorld, it seems, is willfully ignorant about orca biology and by ignoring the needs of the animals, they needlessly endanger the lives of the workers who are helping to make them money. So what affected me the most of this story, really, is the one about corporate greed.
It was expected to be nominated for an Oscar, but it was left out. That wasn’t nearly as disappointing as the absence of Stories We Tell.