Readers, bloggers and reviewers talk about books that leave an impact. Ones they can’t forget. Books that they recommend to anyone who will listen. Sometimes those books are ones that are unique and have a story never written before. Some are about historical events that transport the reader. Some are the ones with the great plot twist no one saw coming. But most of the books that stay with me forever and create that slight shift in my being are the ones that made me a bit uncomfortable. Schooled me.
Recently for me, those books are An Untamed State by Roxane Gay and The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez. Last night I stayed up til the wee hours watching a documentary on CNN films and I can’t get it out of my head. It’s called Blackfish (2013).
“Blackfish tells the story of Tilikum, a performing killer whale that killed several people while in captivity. Along the way, director-producer Gabriela Cowperthwaite compiles shocking footage and emotional interviews to explore the creature’s extraordinary nature, the species’ cruel treatment in captivity, the lives and losses of the trainers and the pressures brought to bear by the multi-billion dollar sea-park industry.”
I don’t watch much television because I am forever reading books. But I do enjoy getting lost in a movie, sitcom or documentary for a few hours. I was trying to read last night but this documentary was playing in the background and I just couldn’t stop watching. My husband and I were horrified. Disgusted. Shocked. Saddened. And ultimately educated by this profound film. It is NOT for children but is rated PG-13, so I would strongly suggest previewing it first before allowing them to view it. I am traumatized. I can’t image how kids would process this.
But I do know that I am thankful for having my reading time interrupted. The knowledge and awareness I gained from this film will make me a better person in the long run. I know it. And I do know that I will NEVER support Seaworld or any “show” that uses animals as entertainment. I have gone to those dolphin and sea lion shows in the past but have learned something invaluable last night. Please put this on your TBV (to be viewed) list.