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Watch Anytime • Virtual Screening Room: BLACKFISH

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When you buy a ticket here for Blackfish, 10% of the ticket sales will to go GiveDirectly’s COVID relief Fund, and 50% of the remaining proceeds will go directly to the Olympia Film Society.
Streaming tickets now available!
CLICK HERE to join us for a Q&A with director Gabriela Cowperthwaite on Wed. 6/3 at 5:00pm PT. You can submit your questions by email to, or you can tweet at us using the hashtag #magnoliadocseries.

Many of us have experienced the excitement and awe of watching 8,000 pound orcas, or “killer whales,” soar out of the water and fly through the air at sea parks, as if in perfect harmony with their trainers. Yet this mighty black and white mammal has many sides – a majestic, friendly giant, seemingly eager to take trainers for a ride around the pool, yet shockingly – and unpredictably – able to turn on them at a moment’s notice. BLACKFISH unravels the complexities of this dichotomy, employing the story of notorious performing whale Tilikum, who – unlike any orca in the wild – has taken the lives of several people while in captivity. So what went wrong?

Shocking footage and riveting interviews with trainers and experts manifest the orca’s extraordinary nature, the species’ cruel treatment in captivity over the last four decades and the growing disillusionment of workers who were misled and endangered by the highly profitable sea-park industry. This emotionally wrenching, tautly structured story challenges us to consider our relationship to nature and reveals how little we humans truly know about these highly intelligent, and surprisingly sentient, fellow mammals that we only think we can control. When you look into their eyes, somebody’s home. Somebody’s looking back at you. . . but it may not be what you think.
Dir: Gabriela Cowperthwaite / 2013 / US / 90 min

“HAUNTING. THE MOVIE UNFOLDS LIKE A THRILLER. It’s a metaphor for the ages.” – David Edelstein, New York Magazine

“A GRIPPING MINDBENDER. May be the scariest movie around.” – Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

“THIS EYE-OPENING, EDGE-OF-YOUR-SEAT DOCUMENTARY HAS IT ALL: an oversize villain, chilling attack footage, corporate malfeasance, and girls in bikinis. IT WILL DOUBTLESSLY BE ONE OF THIS SUMMER’S MOST TALKED ABOUT FILMS.” – Thelma Adams, Yahoo Movies

“RIVETING. It blurs the distinction between procedural thriller, empathetic psychological portrait and call-to-action.” – Mark Olsen, LA Times

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