Rhetorical Analysis Of Blackfish

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Freeing Willy: A Rhetorical Analysis on Blackfish the Documentary
The documentary film Blackfish, by Gabriela Cowperthwaite, is a daring venture, which claims that orcas in captivity become dangerous to human beings, as well as to other orcas. Cowperthwaite points to SeaWorld, in particular, since this world-renowned tourist attraction has had many examples that support her claim. In producing this film, Cowperthwaite hopes to bring about an end to SeaWorld’s practice of using killer whales as performance animals since the limited environment is ultimately doing more harm than good for both the whales and their trainers. The purpose of this rhetorical analysis will be to determine whether Blackfish offers a compelling argument.
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The film continues to use several different approaches to invoke an emotional response from the audience. Even the choice to name the documentary “blackfish” is not immediately clear to the audience until Dave Duffus, an OSHA Expert Witness and whale researcher, explains that “the First Nations People and fisherman on the coast…called them blackfish. They’re animals that possess great spiritual powers and are not to be meddled with” (Blackfish). By titling the documentary “blackfish”, the audience begins to ponder that, perhaps, the Indians, in their experience with nature, understood something about these magnificent creatures that we do not truly grasp. These large mammals seem to be more complex than the common person may, initially, realize. Rather, they are sentient beings, capable of experiencing emotions similar to that of human beings. In an interview with Lori Marino, a neuroscientist, she posits that orcas are not only versed in expressing many emotions, but they have a stunningly high level of intelligence combined with a powerful thought processing ability. Marino

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