Animal Defenders International (ADI), a group which campaigns against the abuse of animals for entertainment, is calling for a boycott of Marion Cotillard's new movie 'Rust and Bone.'
In a press release issued yesterday, ADI Chief Executive Jan Creamer said her group was:
Dismayed that the director Jacques Audiard gave his approval to the incarceration of orcas by using performing animals in the film. We urge him to voice his opposition to the captive cetacean industry and pledge to use CGI and other technologies for future productions. Movie hauntingly mirrors real orca attacks
In Rust and Bone, which opened to critical acclaim at the Cannes film festival in May, Marion Cotillard plays a killer whale trainer at Marineland named Stephanie. Stephanie is horrifically injured when one of the whales turns and attacks her. She awakens in hospital to find that both of her legs have been amputated.
The film is strangely reminiscent of several trainer attacks by orcas that have occurred at SeaWorld, including this 2006 attack on trainer Ken Peters by the orca Kasatka. Peters had his feet grabbed by Kasatka during a live show and was chillingly and repeatedly dragged underwater by the orca on several occasions.
Cotillard's performance could earn the star an Academy Award nomination, but the movie which opens in the UK tomorrow, has angered ADI "over its promotion and needless use of captive orcas." As a result, they are asking animal lovers not to go see the movie.
According to ADI, Rust and Bone was allegedly filmed at Marineland Antibes in France. A park that "currently has five captive orcas" they explained, "including one which was captured and taken from the wild in 1982."
The group adds:
Keeping whales and dolphins in captivity is becoming increasingly unpopular as the public become educated to the wretched existence these animals have to endure; in the UK shows featuring performing cetaceans have already ended due to public opposition and unease.
ADI claims that Rust and Bone posed "serious welfare concerns ... raised by experienced scientists, researchers and animal protection groups, specifically pertaining to orcas [and] human safety. Those working with orcas" the group explained, "can risk injury and even death on a daily basis – such as the tragedy at SeaWorld Orlando in 2010 when experienced trainer Dawn Brancheau was killed by Tilikum, an orca who had previously been involved in the deaths of two other people."
Cotillard's views on captivity confusing?
According to the UK newspaper The Telegraph, Cotillard, a supporter of the conservation charity WildAid, "confessed to feeling unhappy at seeing the animals in captivity," during filming.
"I've always had a repulsion going in a place where animals are in captivity," she said, "I had to work through my rejection of this world, which I still feel. But I had a job," she added.
Money versus principles?
With this perspective in mind, Digital Journal asked ADI Chief Executive Jan Creamer, whether she felt that Cotillard compromised her own principles to make the movie? Creamer told us:
We are very disappointed that Ms Cotillard chose to work with captive animals rather than taking a stand against cruelty. We don't understand her reasoning for this and so can't comment on her motivation, but it is desperately sad that these things will continue if good people do not refuse to work with performing and captive animals.
ADI explained that their stance came from captive orcas being forced to live a "wholly unnatural existence." This existence they say, leads to "abnormal behaviours" and "a significantly reduced lifespan." With these points in mind the group implied, they hope that people will consider the ramifications of this movie for captive cetaceans held in marine parks around the world. Creamer added:
We urge the public to boycott Rust and Bone and also pledge not to visit establishments that use captive whales and dolphins for entertainment.