Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Film as Literature: "Blackfish"

Utilizing your notes regarding the elements of persuasion, respond to the following questions completely and eloquently.

1. Which persuasive tool is most utilized by the filmmakers? Substantiate your claim with specific evidence. Do you think its use is effective?

2. Which persuasive tool is underutilized by the filmmakers? Substantiate your claim with specific evidence. How might this tool have been utilized to make the film more effective?

3. As in journalism, documentaries are invariably assessed on their degree of objectivism. Do you find this documentary objective? Why or why not?

4. Some critics claim that "Blackfish" utilizes purposeful anthropomorphism to establish its pathos. Do you agree? Explain.

5. Is the film about Orcas, exclusively, or could its message be more universal? What larger issues does it bring to the forefront?

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

1. in the "Blackfish" documentary the filmmaker most utilizes Logos for several reasons. it is used to show how miserable whales in captivity are. Another reason is, they wanted to show why the whales in captivity were killing people, is not the whales fault it is the people who put them there. the final example of logos is the former trainers tell how that the conditions the whales live in are one of the many things that make them miserable.

[Connor]

Allek Johnson said...

1. Pathos for sure. The film is about orca, but they mostly show the crying of loved ones of the people who lost their lives to orca accidents.

2.The Ethos factor in this is lacking a bit, The credibility of the film could be questioned... Maybe some of the things they talked about were over-exaggerated. Maybe if they provided more evidence and proof of this.

3.The film is objective in all ways possible. They showed the perspective of the Former SeaWorld trainers and the News reporters. The Trainers were very skeptical of the Reports the news was feeding the public, and they did their best to tell them all the 'truth'.

4.I agree, and it does make sense. The human mind is able to comprehend if it is hurting someone. And if the orca's mind is bigger,smarter , it's safe to assume that the orca knows if it was to hurt something(someone). And why it's hurting them. Just like humans... Which makes it more emotional because the orca are completely aware of what they are doing.

5. It's issues are more exclusive than universal, in SeaWorld anyway. The issues brought up is if the orca get angry they are unpredictable and can attack at any moment.

Anonymous said...

2. I feel that in the documentary "Blackfish" the filmmaker underutilizes Ethos most. I believe that it is under used because they wanted to prove the point off SeaWorld mistreating the whales and that they are meant to be in the wild not in captivity. the only ethos the showed were the trainers who worked there if they wanted to prove a point using ethos they should have list all the names of the people who died in SeaWorld. that would be the best way to use ethos and still prove a point.

3. I find this documentary very objective for a very specific reason. The whole point/objective of this documentary is to tell how mistreated the killer whale the is and when put in captivity they become dangerous. The Majestic giant the killer whale is meant to be free to go where ever they want that is the objective of this film.

[Connor]

George Reese said...

1.) I believe that Blackfish effectively uses a mix of ethos and pathos, weaving them together with an emphasis on the pathos. They infuse their documentary with emotional testimony from former Sea World trainers which give both ethos, from their experience as trainers, and pathos, from their emotions on the subject. I believe that that the documentary’s use of ethos and pathos is very effective because it uses people who know what they are talking about, talking about something they care for dearly.
2.) One element of persuasion that the movie lacked was logos. Logos is the element of logic, facts, and statistics. Although Blackfish uses real life examples of incidents that happened at Sea World, they do not use all of them. If they use more evidence, and more statistics on the attacks on trainers, and the abuse and mistreatment of animals, then they would be able to more effectively get their point across.
3.) This documentary, although emotional and passionate, is very subjective. The documentary focuses solely on the negative events that have occurred at Sea World, and Sea World’s efforts to cover up and not fix problems. The documentary never once mentions anything positive about Sea World, nor does it give Sea World a chance to answer its libelous claims against them. If the film had given a more neutral, more objective perspective on Sea World, then I believe it would be more effective in convincing people of Sea World’s wrongdoings.
4.) Yes, Blackfish uses anthropomorphism heavily throughout the film to suggest the idea that Orca whales are just as, if not more, emotional as people. The justification given for this by the whale experts is that the part of the Orca’s brain responsible for emotion is far larger than other animals, this in turn makes them far more emotional creatures. Although this anthropomorphism is effective in this film, it could be used the same way in a documentary about how cows shouldn’t be slaughtered. In the end, human lives matter more than animal lives.
5.) This anthropomorphism can be used to describe any animals in a non-desirable situation, such as cows that are going to be slaughtered, or chicken that are kept in captivity for eggs. At the end of the day, animals should be treated with respect and kindness, like all living things. But when people want to help make animals lives better, when there are humans they could be helping frustrates me. Humans matter more than animals.
George Reese

Charles Fitzgerald said...

The film Blackfish uses mostly ethos, and pathos. This is due to all the trainers it used to give the film more credibility. It also used the emotion of the trainers to accommodate the credibility of the movie making it more persuasive. I think this is a very effective technique for persuading people. But the film also doesn't use enough logic, or logos mainly because they needed to talk more about the incidents, and the emotions of the animals before, and after all the incidents. I find that the documentary is objective because it shows how wonderful the animals are at first but towards the end it shows that the orcas were really dangerous, and that they were better off in the wild. Also I agree that Blackfish uses a lot of anthropomorphism purposely to establish most of its pathos because its reasoning mainly comes from the animal being deprived of its freedom and relates it to how a human would react. Lastly I believe

Anonymous said...

4. I do believe that the documentary "Blackfish" utilizes purposeful anthropomorphism to establish its pathos. I decided this because the former trainers are the narrators and they cannot spot stressing how the whales are abused and mistreated, this of course causes the audience it be frightened and scared that these whales are being held in captivity their entire lives. that is why I feel that the film has a good use for pathos.

5. I feel that this film has a universal message. Not only is it trying to reach the point the these amazing creatures are being tortured but it is explaining the price that the trainers have to pay because they are losing there lives so they can train these innocent captive creatures for the average fat persons pleasure (note: not all people are fat).

[Connor]

Skylar Daley said...

1. The persuasion method of pathos is used most dominantly throughout the movie. By interviewing people who witnessed deaths of trainers at the waterparks and talking to friends and family of the victims, the filmmakers were able to make an emotional impact on the viewers. Documenting the capturing of the whales and showing their poor living conditions in captivity is also emotionally impactful. I think its use is effective because as a viewer, I felt very moved about the subject.
2. Of the persuasion tools, logos is the most underutilized in the documentary. The film does not have many substantial numbers or statistics, which makes the logical persuasion less impactful. By talking to more scientists and marine biologists, the filmmakers could have made the logos more efficacious.
3. Yes, I do find this documentary objective because it makes the viewers see the perspective of two opposing sides. On one side, they show the wrongness of keeping orcas in captivity and document the dangers of working with them. However, they also present the viewers with the positive side of it as well, by interviewing former trainers and sharing the fond memories they have of it.
4. In order to better establish the documentary’s pathos, “Blackfish” definitely utilizes anthropomorphism. By making the orcas seem more human, with advanced emotions, the viewers feel more sympathetic towards them and feel strongly about them.
5. Although it is specifically in regards to orcas, I believe that the documentary has a more universal message. It brings the idea of animal rights and treatment to the forefront, especially the idea of keeping animals in captivity and whether or not it is safe or enjoyable for the animals or the people who take care of them.

Emma Sudduth said...

1. The persuasive tool most utilized by the filmmakers is Pathos. The whole film is focused on getting at your emotions and making you emphasize with the whales. There were multiple former trainers crying about lost coworkers or sad moments with the whales that they trained. The switch between the dynamic life style of the whales in the wild to the unchanging routine that Orcas have in SeaWorld. I do believe that this was effective because around the classroom everyone paid attention throughout the whole film and the movie tugged on your heart strings just enough to make you care for the whales even of you had never taken a side before the film.

2. I think the persuasive tool that is underutilized by the filmmakers is Logos. The data and reasoning that was put into the film was not really explained, but it was just put out into the film for the audience to interpret as good or bad. When they said that Tilikum was the biggest male breeder and that fifty-four percent of whales have his genes, the filmmakers only said that he had aggression but they didn’t explain that this streak of aggression would never leave the company because it was encoded in their DNA. Logos could have been better utilized if for every fact or reason they brought up the filmmakers explained what this would mean for the present now and for the future to come.

3. I find this documentary to not be objective because its main focus is to show that what SeaWorld is doing is wrong. The film focused on the injustices that SeaWorld did in taking and care of these once wild creatures and the disowning of these crimes when accused in a case of law or the media. If the film were objective then the good things that SeaWorld had done like greater focus on Marine life in the country and love for all of life’s creatures would have been mentioned, and the ending scene of the film would not have been protesting against SeaWorld.

4. Yes, I believe that “Blackfish” utilizes purposeful anthropomorphism to establish its pathos. Tilikum is an orca that has killed three people so far, but the film shows how his life would lead any normal human being to turn into a savage. The former trainers constantly brought up the fact that if you were left in a steel cage and forced to only perform tricks for all your life that you would go a little crazy too. The filmmakers had trainers talk about them as if they were part of their family and that the whales had feelings like love and affection.

5. I believe that the message in the film is not exclusively for Orcas. The larger issue that the film dives into is if it is morally right to make wild animals show pets and whether or not the treatment of those animals in captivity is humane. Blackfish does focus specifically on the Orcas in SeaWorld, but the message on if making exotic animals perform for civilization is right applies to every animal that has ever been taking away from its natural habitat and forced into a cage so that some industry can make money.

Anonymous said...

1. The persuasive tool most utilized by the filmmakers is pathos, which is using the emotions of the viewer to convince the audience of the message. They show many scenes of the animals being treated poorly and in bad living conditions. The filmmaker included clips of the whale hunts the SeaWorld people did and showed the baby whales being ripped from their parents. The sound of the orcas “crying” is used to show how much emotion these animals have. This use of emotion is used very effectively throughout the film to get across the point on what really happens to the orcas at sea world.
2. Although all the persuasive techniques are utilized throughout the film, the most underutilized one is logos, which is the use of logic and reason to persuade the audience. There is not much statistics and data throughout the film. They did a well job getting reliable people to speak including whale researchers and former whale trainers. The logical side of the film was slightly weak and that is what caused logos to be the most underutilized.
3. I find the film not objective at all. The film seemed very bias and it was just focusing on the negative effects of sea world and not showing the other side of the argument. The film seemed very one sided in terms of argument and very close-minded about SeaWorld and the orcas and how everything that SeaWorld does has a negative outcome on the whales.
4. I agree that the film uses anthropomorphism to depict the orcas in the film Blackfish. The show the whales caring for their children just like humans. They brought in a neuroscientist to show how the orcas brain is similar to humans and how emotional they can become.
5. This film was obviously about orcas, but the message can be applied to many things other than sea world. It shows that not only the captive whales need to be treated well, but we should treat all animals kindly. It shows this by grabbing your emotions and really making you feel for these helpless whales.
Ryan Wheeler

Gianna Larson said...

1. The persuasive tool utilized most by the filmmakers is pathos. The documentary frequently has the different emotions of the trainers, and people who were in the presence of the whales. In the documentary, the trainers share specifically what it was like to work with the largest orca held in captivity, his name was Tilly. The trainers shared how easy it was to form a relationship with the whale and how they loved what they do. The emotions of the whale catchers taking the whales out of the wild and put in captivity also shows strong pathos. The whale catchers felt lament taking the whales from their babies. The use of pathos is effective because us as viewers, we can feel persuaded that animals are not suitable to have in captivity.

2. The persuasive tool that is underutilized by the filmmakers is logos. The documentary only included news stories and lies that SeaWorld had processed about the casualties. I think that more of a doctor/marine biologist’s point of view was needed to justify the evidence. A person who is licensed and studies animal’s behaviors should have been featured in the documentary. I think that justification was needed to back up how whales act in captivity versus the wild. This documentary would have been far more persuasive if more data was proven by a professional.

3. I find this documentary is assessed on all of the objectives of people who worked for SeaWorld, and SeaWorld’s objective. SeaWorld offers their point of view on the instances that happened to make it not look bad to the public eye. The objectives of the former trainers and people who worked there, shows how SeaWorld had twisted stories around to make themselves look good. I don’t see this documentary as objective mainly because there is not only one side to the stories that are told. There is input on the stories from the visitors and personal stories from the trainers.

4. I think that “Blackfish” uses anthropomorphism to show how much the orcas care. A neuroscientist was brought in to show how the human brain is just like the orca brain. The filmmakers talked about the orcas as if they were humans. The filmmakers made the orcas sound as if they were their real life best friend and how easy it was to form a relationship with them.

5. This film can be applied to any animal living. The film directly refers to orcas, but any animal that lives in captivity will go crazy eventually. Animals are taken away from their normal habitat, therefore, the animal is not used to the unnatural like setting. The documentary ultimately brings the treatment of animals to the forefront of civilization. In general, animals should not be used for show, they should be allowed to liv in their natural habitat.

Eric Sanford said...

Eric Sanford

1. In Blackfish, the persuasive tool most utilized by the filmmakers was pathos; the appeal to the emotions of the audience was a major factor of the filmmakers' argument. This was utilized though accounts of the tragedies that have occurred over the years involving orca attacks in captivity, specifically using interviews with those who knew and were close to the victims. It was also emphasized by the juxtaposition of footage showing the stark contrast between orcas in the wild and in captivity, making the argument that orcas being kept in captivity is dangerous not only for the people that work with them, but also for the animals themselves.

2. The persuasive tool used least by the filmmakers was logos. There is far less scientific evidence presented in comparison to the emotional effects displayed, but the evidence used is supportive of the film's argument, specifically in that orcas seem to have a highly developed emotional center in the brain, the drastic lifespan difference between wild and captive orcas, and the statistics that there is only one account of a fatal orca attack in the wild, as opposed to the many aggressive attacks that have occurred in captivity. More use of logos could have made this film far more convincing in its argument, if the evidence had backed up the argument.

3. I found this documentary to be mostly subjective, mainly due to the slightly suspicious refusal of Seaworld to have any interviews given. Because of this, the majority of the film was able to explore information that would back up its argument, without much refutal from the opposing viewpoint.

4. I agree that Blackfish uses purposeful anthropomorphism to a certain point, but that this is a reasonable decision based on the incredible intelligence and capacity of the orcas, which display many human like characteristics in the wild, such as community behavior, complex communication that borders on language skills, and a heightened emotional center in the cortex of their brains. In humanizing these animals, the filmmakers are able to use pathos to more effectively convey their argument.

5. Is the film about Orcas, exclusively, or could its message be more universal? What larger issues does it bring to the forefront?
This film, while specifically designed to convey the argument that orcas should not be kept in captivity due to the dangers present to both the humans around them and the animals themselves, can also be interpreted as being opposed to the captivity of any animal. However, the argument against orca captivity is far more compelling due to their intelligence, and the dramatic decrease in quality of life for them once they are in captivity, as opposed to the wild.

John Cormier said...

1. The method of persuasion most used effectively by “Blackfish” is Pathos. This is due to the films constant attempts to humanize the whales and to make their plight relatable. This is done with statements like “How would you feel if you spent your whole life in a bath tub?” Another way Pathos was used was with the showing of how various whales reacted to being separated from their young showing their human-like grief. It even uses Logos to back up these claims by explaining that the orcas have a more developed section of their brain that’s purely for emotion.
2. At first glance this film appears to be using all of the persuasion methods roughly the same, but after looking into the facts more closely one can see that the film is clearly lacking in Ethos. This is because many of the people interviewed have an alternative agenda. Besides the fact that many of these former SeaWorld employees have not worked for SeaWorld within the past two decades, thus potentially unable to attest to present SeaWorld policy, they are also active members of PETA. Then the OSCHA professor was ruled by a federal court to be unqualified to verify the mental states and behaviorally patterns of captive orcas.
3. I find that “Blackfish” is a fairly un-objective documentary due to its lack of counterarguments. Although they did attempt to get an official SeaWorld they could have tried harder to make that happen or at least get someone to attempt defend SeaWorld’s actions.
4. Yes, because it entirely focuses on the whales and their story with the lives of those killed by the orcas being only a side note or minor background information. Think about what we were told about Dawn the trainer versus what we were told about Tillicum and the amount of time spent on either.
5. Its message could very easily be applied to all zoo or aquarium animals and the other show animals in particular such as dolphins. “Blackfish” bring up the larger issues of having non-domesticated animals locked up in confining areas for our own amusement. This is a highly debated issue among animal rights groups especially when relatively intelligent animals are involved.

Colleen Murphy said...

1. In the documentary “Blackfish”, the persuasive tool used the most in pathos. Pathos is used to feel sympathy for the whales and the trainers that have suffered major injuries or even death. Throughout the documentary, we are informed of many sad stories of how trainers have been attacked by the orca whales. We are led to sympathize for the trainers who died and now are being blamed for their own death when really it is because of the orcas being kept in captivity. This makes the whales frustrated and angry causing so many families to lose loved ones.
2. The persuasive tool underutilized by filmmakers in the documentary “Blackfish” is logos. They film makers barely used any statistics which could have helped their argument a substantial amount. Using more statistics could have proven how often these horrible things happen. They could have proven that they need to be stopped in order to help the trainers and the whales. With more statistics, watchers could have been more convinced upon their argument and helped in any way they could to stop Seaworld.
3. The documentary “Blackfish” is not objective. They do not show both sides of the trials or stories. They only show former trainers talking about how bad Seaworld was. The filmmakers did not have anyone from Seaworld talk on their part, this might have also been because they refused to be interviewed for this film. Though this is true, all of the former Seaworld trainers talked bad about the treating of the whales and trainers. They did not find anyone to defend the name of Seaworld which leads me to think you do not come working out of Seaworld thinking it was a humane place.
4. I do agree that the filmmakers of “Blackfish” used anthropomorphism. In the film they talked as if the animals had feelings. They would mention how the animals must feel abused and were being attacked like they could feel as we did. When they talked about the orcas as if they had feelings, it made us as viewers sympathize for them more. It made us think what it would be like to be trapped in a cage forever being attacked by other people. The use of anthropomorphism was useful to establish a more defined pathos persuasion statement.
5. I think the film focuses on orcas but had a defining meaning that is trying to help all wildlife caged in zoos or aquariums and trying to inform us on how awful Sea World is. They are trying to educate us on how rude Sea World is to the employees and the animals. They try to cover up deaths of trainers and constantly get away with it. By learning this, it can help us to think that all zoos are doing this. We now can only hope not all zoos or aquariums are doing this. We need to free the animals.

Amanda Towne said...

1.) A persuasive tool that is most utilized by the filmmaker is pathos. They express the audience’s emotion when interviewing witnesses or friends of the victims. They share their feelings towards the incidents that happen and how they reacted to it. To see the guilt and pain in their voices engage you in the situation. In some cases when they pinpoint the blame on the victims makes you question what they’re really hiding. There are reasons why they shift the blame from SeaWorld because they can’t afford losing viewers. This persuades the viewers to form a negative opinion on SeaWorld by using pathos.
2.) In “Blackfish”, a persuasive tool that is underutilized would be logos. In my opinion, they didn’t include a lot of data on why the whales acted the way they did. Whale researchers found little information on why TIlikum or any of the other whales behave harshly towards humans. Most whales are well behaved while others act out by harming another. They expressed their thoughts on why some become so violent, but that does not prove why they are because some whales do not act out. Why would some whales express their anger differently? If researchers found specific information on why some whales become so violent and some don’t react the movie would be easier to persuade. They sometimes state how it was the victim’s fault on why the whale reacted so violently which makes you think otherwise.
3.) Yes, I find this document objective because it shows a clear point in the negative views of SeaWorld. Most people would disagree to keep animals captive for most of their lives. This documentary points you to think differently of animal captivity. The orcas in the film act violently because they are kept in small cages with other whales from different cultures. There have been numerous attacks or murders from these whales that could have been avoided. Owners of these orcas refuse to shut down or release their whales, but with more and more people against them will eventually put them out of business. This film got the point across and was very effective to viewers.
4.) Yes, I would agree to this film having purposeful anthropomorphism because whale researchers claim the orcas have minds like humans. These whales are able to understand human skills and repeat them. Orca whales are proved to be smart animals because they can think like some humans. They are able to maintain a relationship with a human and they have a good sense. Experts explained Orcas could sense when their trainers come to the bottom of their food bucket and tend to slack off. They would become frustrated and act out. These whales are smart like humans and this film shows a good understanding of anthropomorphism.
5.) I believe this film has a more universal message because it clearly shows that owners of these aquariums are more worried about their business than the problems it is causing, Many trainers have become physically harmed or murdered because of these whales and owners seem to think otherwise. Human safety should be the biggest priority, but SeaWorld and other aquarium owners make their business the most important

Jillian Blye said...

In the documentary Blackfish, the film maker utilizes ethos and pathos the most throughout the production. The documentary has an emotional side that comes from former Seaworld trainers telling about their experiences with the orcas. This shows ethos and pathos because the information is coming straight from the people that spent the most time with the animals. It shows pathos because the trainers get very emotional while talking about the whales, some start crying throughout the film. The documentary did use ethos and pathos effectively because they had the trainers talk about the whales because they knew them best and they brought the viewer closer because of the emotional impact.
The documentary lacks logos the most throughout the film. There are not many statistics, logic or data given to make the viewers believe the information before them. If more scientists were involved or marine biologists, the film would have better background knowledge.
The film was not objective at all. The film talked more about the negative impact of SeaWorld and not about the positive side. The argument was very one-sided and made me wonder what could be said about the other side of SeaWorld.
I agree that the film uses anthropomorphism to establish its pathos. It shows how much the orcas care and how they relate to humans. The former trainers constantly talked about how the orcas acted like humans, they care for one another and travel as a family. If the orcas get separated from one another they scream out and try to help. The filmmakers made the orcas sound like a best friend.
I believe the main focus on the film is Sea World and how the orcas are treated and the conditions of the park. But the film also made me think of other places with caged animals. Zoos and aquariums could have these poor conditions and no one would ever know. I think the film is trying to state that people should take a closer look when entering the gate and realize what they are paying for. People are told lies right when walking through just so they will come back. Animals need to be in the wild, not help in captivity.

Anonymous said...


1. In the documentary blackfish, the filmmakers most utilized would be pathos. They struck an emotional nerve with the audience when they made you feel as if you knew the people and animals well and gave their background story to drag you down into the sorrow. I believe it was a very effective method because it has people talking and wanting to stop the tragedies meaning there message is being spread like they want.


2.I feel the filmmakers could have used ethos so much more and made a stronger argument with it but it was slightly lacking . If they were able to get a more human like quality to the animal and made that connection more so throughout the film it could have made a stronger argument.


3.This documentary was not very objective. All those involved had a personal tie to each part in which they were discussing and it clouded their reliability. they were too close to the source and they were multiple times referring to personal experience and acting with familiarity to it.


4. I do agree. They used that technique to gain more sympathy and reach out to the audience's empathy towards another creature who is very much similar to themselves.

5.This is strongly structured towards Orcus but the message can be universalized. How a large group can come in and have everything there way and destroying all they need to satisfy themselves.
-Arianna Heath

Rachel Brunault said...

1.
The persuasive tool most use in the film Blackfish is, in my opinion, was pathos. From the beginning they spent so much time talking about how beautiful and intelligent these animals are to gain an attachment to them, then went into talking about how Tillikum was caught and raised in a small, claustrophobic space where he was abused frequently by the other whales. Following this was the lists of the many deaths caused by these whales having psychological problems from captivity, especially Tillikum. They had people who were close to the victims speak about them which helps with growing empathy towards them.

2.
If I had to choose a least utilized tool in this film, despite how l believe for the message conveyed it was balanced, I would have say it is logos. Of all the persuasive tools this one appears to be given the least amount of time devoted to it, and for as many facts as they did have, none were really investigated at depth and were more quickly explained in a way that made them come across as less important.

3.
I believe this film is more subjective than it is objective; this is due to the lack of opinions, statistics, and overall information deduced from the other side of the argument. If maybe they had representatives from Seaworld or trainers momentarily working for Seaworld and not just ones that have not worked there in over 20 years.

4.
I believe that comparing the intellect and the emotional capacities of the orcas to those of humans definitely helped produced another aspect of pathos within the film. People have this way of subconsciously connecting forms of empathy and sympathy even to nonhuman things. Viewers look at how poorly the orcas are being treated and how emotionally distraught they are due to it and think, “Well, I would feel the same way if I were in that situation so I connect with this animal,” and this therefore makes people pity the orcas more than they might have.

5.
The larger issue in which the film is trying to get at, is not simply is Seaworld’s treatment of the orcas inhuman but that all forms of animal captivity are abusive and damaging experiences for the animals to be exposed to.

Rachel Brunault said...


1.
The persuasive tool most use in the film Blackfish is, in my opinion, was pathos. From the beginning they spent so much time talking about how beautiful and intelligent these animals are to gain an attachment to them, then went into talking about how Tillikum was caught and raised in a small, claustrophobic space where he was abused frequently by the other whales. Following this was the lists of the many deaths caused by these whales having psychological problems from captivity, especially Tillikum. They had people who were close to the victims speak about them which helps with growing empathy towards them.

2.
If I had to choose a least utilized tool in this film, despite how l believe for the message conveyed it was balanced, I would have say it is logos. Of all the persuasive tools this one appears to be given the least amount of time devoted to it, and for as many facts as they did have, none were really investigated at depth and were more quickly explained in a way that made them come across as less important.

3.
I believe this film is more subjective than it is objective; this is due to the lack of opinions, statistics, and overall information deduced from the other side of the argument. If maybe they had representatives from Seaworld or trainers momentarily working for Seaworld and not just ones that have not worked there in over 20 years.

4.
I believe that comparing the intellect and the emotional capacities of the orcas to those of humans definitely helped produced another aspect of pathos within the film. People have this way of subconsciously connecting forms of empathy and sympathy even to nonhuman things. Viewers look at how poorly the orcas are being treated and how emotionally distraught they are due to it and think, “Well, I would feel the same way if I were in that situation so I connect with this animal,” and this therefore makes people pity the orcas more than they might have.

5.
The larger issue in which the film is trying to get at, is not simply is Seaworld’s treatment of the orcas inhuman but that all forms of animal captivity are abusive and damaging experiences for the animals to be exposed to.

Rachel Brunault said...

1.
The persuasive tool most use in the film Blackfish is, in my opinion, was pathos. From the beginning they spent so much time talking about how beautiful and intelligent these animals are to gain an attachment to them, then went into talking about how Tillikum was caught and raised in a small, claustrophobic space where he was abused frequently by the other whales. Following this was the lists of the many deaths caused by these whales having psychological problems from captivity, especially Tillikum. They had people who were close to the victims speak about them which helps with growing empathy towards them.

2.
If I had to choose a least utilized tool in this film, despite how l believe for the message conveyed it was balanced, I would have say it is logos. Of all the persuasive tools this one appears to be given the least amount of time devoted to it, and for as many facts as they did have, none were really investigated at depth and were more quickly explained in a way that made them come across as less important.

3.
I believe this film is more subjective than it is objective; this is due to the lack of opinions, statistics, and overall information deduced from the other side of the argument. If maybe they had representatives from Seaworld or trainers momentarily working for Seaworld and not just ones that have not worked there in over 20 years.

4.
I believe that comparing the intellect and the emotional capacities of the orcas to those of humans definitely helped produced another aspect of pathos within the film. People have this way of subconsciously connecting forms of empathy and sympathy even to nonhuman things. Viewers look at how poorly the orcas are being treated and how emotionally distraught they are due to it and think, “Well, I would feel the same way if I were in that situation so I connect with this animal,” and this therefore makes people pity the orcas more than they might have.

5.
The larger issue in which the film is trying to get at, is not simply is Seaworld’s treatment of the orcas inhuman but that all forms of animal captivity are abusive and damaging experiences for the animals to be exposed to.

Anonymous said...

1. I think that the strongest persuasion technique in the film was ethos because every person who spoke was either a previous whale trainer, a witness, a family member or a professional who clearly knew what they were talking about.
2. I think that the weakest persuasion technique in the film was pathos because only one family was interviewed. This technique, along with the other two were rather strong, and even though only one family was interviewed, it was enough for the film. If the family of Dawn was interviewed, pathos would’ve been a lot stronger.
3. I find this film to be very objective. Prior to watching the film, I was indifferent about the subject of whales and whether or not they should be in captivity, and now I see that it is morally wrong for people to captivate not only whales, but all animals to be captivated.
4. I do agree that “Blackfish” utilizes purposeful anthropomorphism to establish its pathos. Scientists explain that whales have a part in their brain that give them emotions. The audience noted a mother orca who had her calf taken from her and she was clearly depressed; she confined herself to a corner of the tank and barely moved and wailed for long periods of time.
5. The film is more universal. Glorified captivation of all animals is frowned upon in this film. Whales are beautiful creatures that are confined to a much smaller space than their natural environment which cause them to lash out and attack each other and people. Animals belong in their natural environment and being in small environments could be dangerous for not only the animals, but people, too.

Jackie Cotter

Anonymous said...

1) The film most definitely utilizes pathos the most out of the three. The film appeals strongly to emotion, from showing video of mother orcas wailing and screeching after being separated from their babies to interviews with people whose loved ones were killed by whales. The movie effectively taps into the audience's emotions and almost forces sympathy for captive whales.

2) The film under-utilizes logos. Though there were facts and interviews with scientists sprinkled throughout, the movie mostly relied on pathos to get its point across. There could've been more scientific facts and evidence, surely, but if it had gotten to the point where it would’ve outweighed the emotional aspect, the film wouldn’t have been as effective or moving.

3) This film isn't objective; it's clearly anti-captivity (in the case of whales), unapologetically taking a side on the issue it's presenting.

4) I don't think it's "anthropomorphism" if whales do actually have complex thoughts and emotions.

5) The closest thing this film has to a universal message is of anti-captivity (though, of course, some facilities are designed to care for and/or rehabilitate animals). On the whole, it's about whales.

- Laine Parker

Kaleala Kadish-Ferriter said...

1. I believe this film portrayed more Pathos than any other element of persuasion. The film displayed a lot of loved ones talking about the deceased.

2. I thought there was almost no Logos. The movie has a few facts about orcas but not a lot. They only slightly toughed upon the scientific facts about orcas in captivity.

3. Yes, i find this documentary very objective orientated. The message the film makers want to get across is how when orcas are in captivity, they slowly go mad and show aggressiveness towards other life. The film wants you to not support any place that holds marine life.

4. I agree because if the human brain can understand emotions than animals minds can too. I can say from personal experience that I believe that cats' brains can understand emotion. I live with 9 cats and a dog and over the course of my lifetime, I can understand the body language and emotional appearance of my cats and dogs. The animals act differently around each other depending on their moods. So, yes, I believe that all life have "human like" emotions.

5. The film mainly focuses around SeaWorld and its living conditions for the whales. The movie could have a underlying universal meaning to it such as we shouldn't capture and train any species of animal for other peoples entertaining pleasure, at least not whales.

Anonymous said...

1. I believe pathos because in the film they showed everyone being very emotional toward the attacks and cruelty from/of the orcas.

2. They should have provided more factual information. They lacked the element logos because of the simple fact, it lacked most information. They should have shown more stats on the attacks or the cruelty/stress the whales undergo.

3. I found this documentary to be sort of subjective, Seaworld refused multiple times to be interviewed for the film. This allowed them to focus mainly on the negative events and seaworld couldn't object to any of these instances.

4. This documentary does show anthropomorphism to describe the orcas. They care for their children just as humans do. Their brain has more emotions than other animals. Which makes the whales more aware of what they are enduring.

5. I feel as though the film has a very versatile meaning because this film can account for all animals in captivity. No animal, that is supposed to be in its natural born environment, should be caged as a spectrum for human amusement. It isn't right and the animals are just acting out because they don't want to be there. Humans have to understand that wild animals are not to be trusted they will act in their nature not how we want them to.

Ashley Dixon