BLACKFISH | British Board of Film Classification
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BLACKFISH <span>(2013)</span> artwork


Type Feature

Approx. Running minutes 83

Release dates 26/07/2013

Ratings Info Contains scenes of sustained real animal attacks and sight of injuries

Genre(s) Documentary

Director(s) Gabriela Cowperthwaite

Cast includes Samantha Berg, Dave Duffus, Dean Gomersall

Cut All known versions of this work passed uncut.

  • Suitable only for 15 years and over icon15

Ratings info

Ratings info publication date 16/07/2013

Note: The following text may contain spoilers

BLACKFISH is a documentary which focusses on various incidents in which people, chiefly animal trainers, have been injured and killed by captive killer whales in a variety of aquatic theme parks.

Injury detail

The film contains a number of clips of incidents in which humans have been attacked by killer whales, including a protracted incident in which a trainer is repeatedly pulled underwater by a whale. Although the trainer in this case survived, there is some sight of the injuries he sustained to his foot, which was held in the whale's mouth. In another scene, a woman is pulled under water by a killer whale and emerges with a severely fractured arm that is clearly bent out of shape. Elsewhere, there is sight of trainers with blood on their faces and bodies, as well as sight of bloody injuries sustained by the whales themselves when they attack one another in captivity. There is discussion of the injuries sustained by the victims, including graphic medical reports and a reference to a killer whale having bitten off a man's genitals. There is also sight of a dead trainer's body covered by a sheet. There is also sight of killer whales being captured in the wild, including sight of a whale that died during a hunt, archive footage of beached whales, and footage showing wild killer whales hunting and capturing a seal, without any graphic sight of the kill.

The film contains infrequent mild bad language ('God', 'shit', 'damn') and scenes in which a killer whale's penis is stimulated by trainers in order to extract semen for breeding purposes.


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Dogwoof Pictures
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