“A film is – or should be – more like music than like fiction.
It should be a progression of moods and feelings.
The theme, what’s behind the emotion, the meaning, all that comes later.”
Check out these “must sees” at the movies, starting with Blackfish, a documentary prompted by the death of a SeaWorld trainer 2 years ago. Zoom in on what’s happening behind the scenes with killer whales in captivity. Looking into the eyes of these amazing orcas, you know you are in the presence of beings more sentient than we are. But separated from their families, imprisoned in small pools, and left for long periods of time without exercise or stimulation, psychosis can develop. The film focuses on Tilikum, a male orca captured and taken from his mother when very young, who’s been involved in 3 deaths. One expert in the film said, “he’s killing because he’s frustrated and has no outlet.” I would also suggest that separated from his family when very young, he’s had no opportunity to be properly socialized. Attacked by more dominant whales imprisoned in the same tiny pool who don’t speak his language, left hungry and then forced to perform for food, has pushed him over the edge.
Tilikum isn’t the only captive whale who has fought back by killing or injuring a trainer; we see disturbing footage and listen to a litany of former SeaWorld trainers talk about their shame over their inability to protect these noble creatures. As for SeaWorld, the company refuses to comment, relying on canned press releases that blame it all on “trainer error.” It’s obvious that nothing matters to them but their bottom line.
At the end, the film is as much about us humans as it is about these majestic creatures with superior language abilities and brains with emotional centers more developed than our own. Why some think it’s appropriate to keep them captive in a little swimming pool for the entertainment of the masses says we are still in the days of the Romans in the Coliseum.
Blackfish is a must see this summer. Search out the theatre nearest you and get charged up about protecting the whales!
Another great watch is The Hunt. I was interested to see this film because in my work as a spiritual teacher, healing repressed trauma, I find that many traumas are a result of sexual abuse. Lucas is a former high school teacher struggling to emerge from a divorce and loss of his job. Just as he begins to heal, his life is shattered by a false accusation of molestation that launches his community into a state of hysteria. The real theme of this movie is mob mentality and the destructive power of gossip. Beautifully filmed but disturbing to watch, this movie, reminiscent of an earlier film, Deliverance, reminds us that civilization is a really jut a thin veneer.
You’ll also want to see Fruitvale Station in light of the recent Trayvon Martin scandal. It deals with a true story—the shooting of Oscar Grant, a 22-year-old unarmed black man who, in 2009, was shot in the back by a transit policeman at the Fruitvale station in Oakland. The films does a great job of presenting Oscar as a real person, who starts his day taking stock of his life and resolving to make things better, only to end up senselessly killed—a casualty of racial profiling. This event shook the Bay Area and the nation when it occurred, but we continue to see incidents of racial profiling today. Talk up Fruitvale Station and encourage others to see it; film is a great way to increase group consciousness.
My last review, The Unfinished Song, will make your heart sing! It features Arthur, a grumpy old soul perfectly content with sticking to his dreary daily routine until his dying wife Marion, played by Vanessa Redgrave, drags him to a local singing group. The music group helps Marion transition from cancer to the next level, and allows the grieving Arthur to get himself through some extremely difficult times. This film illustrates the healing power of sound, a technique which we frequently use in energy healing.
Don’t miss these great films since they won’t be in the theatres much longer. They will all give you something to think about. Grab the popcorn and go for it!