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Hot Docs 2020: “The Walrus and the Whistleblower” ★★★


As humans, we can voice our concerns against injustice, speak up on behalf of those who were silenced, and protest on big issues. But who will be fighting on behalf of animals, advocating against the acts of cruelty committed by individuals? Even by big corporations?

“The Walrus and the Whistleblower” follows former employee, Phil Demers of Marineland, who turned into a whistleblower after over a decade of experience. Having a special bond with Smooshi, a walrus, the man gets attached to his work and begins caring deeply for those who rely on us so desperately. However, realizing the pain of animal captivity and the torture they would go through to deliver entertainment to the guests of Marineland, the man reports the issue. After years of legal battle, he reflects on his life of a whistleblower while he tries to respond to a lawsuit for plotting to steal Smooshi from Marineland.

“The Walrus and the Whistleblower” not only concentrates on what animal captivity means but also the bond walruses and dolphins have with humans. We follow Phil Demers’ story, a former marine mammal trainer who fights against the corporation’s injustice and more importantly, engages in the quest to free dolphins and walruses from captivity. His entire journey is captured in a well-structured documentary that will remind you more of a suspenseful thriller from the perspective of a cruel yet compassionate reality.

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