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Are you missing your local movie theater? So are we! That’s why Magnolia Pictures is thrilled to team up with YOU to support your favorite theater for our new weekly virtual cinema series, A FEW OF OUR FAVORITE DOCS. 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 theater.

CLICK HERE to join us for a Q&A with director Gabriela Cowperthwaite Wed. 6/3 at 8:00pm ET / 5:00pm PT. You can submit your questions by email to submityourquestion@magpictures.com, or you can tweet at us using the hashtag #magnoliadocseries.


Thank you for your continued support of independent films and the theaters that are dedicated to presenting them on the big screen.


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.

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

“***** EXTRAORDINARY. A MUST-SEE.” – Joe Neumaier, NY Daily News

“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

“ENTHRALLING.” – Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal

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


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  • Year
  • Runtime
    90 minutes
  • Language
  • Country
    United States
  • Director
    Gabriela Cowperthwaite
  • Screenwriter
    Gabriela Cowperthwaite & Eli Despres, Tim Zimmermann (co-writer)
  • Producer
    Manuel V. Oteyza, Gabriela Cowperthwaite
  • Executive Producer
    Judy Bart, Erica Kahn
  • Co-Producer
    Tim Zimmermann
  • Cinematographer
    Jonathan Ingalls, Christopher Towey
  • Editor
    Eli Despres
  • Composer
    Jeff Beal
  • Sound Design
    Jeff Stone