Last week, I watched Blackfish on CNN. It is a documentary about killer whales in captivity—and mostly a visual philippic against Sea World. Like The Cove, Blackfish serves as effective propaganda against greedy money interests and heartless bastards (of course, with a significant Venn overlap). CNN will air it again this weekend.
I found the film’s sympathy for anachronistic concerns for homogenous communities interesting and provocative. The filmmaker interviews marine mammal specialists who criticize Sea World’s policy of housing orcas from various parts of the world together. These unenlightened scientists argue that whales from different places have different languages and customs and that forcing such whales into a multicultural environment stresses the animals and instigates misunderstandings, tensions, and crises. Happily, these folks do not work for the Office of Refugee Resettlement and cannot influence immigration policy in advanced nations. Their dangerous and backward ideas totally contradict what contemporary wisdom has directed good, decent people to do with their own human communities.