The Walrus and the Whistleblower

Available until June 24 - Includes Q&A

No Longer Available

Film Info
Country Listing:Canada
Premiere Status:World Premiere
Festival Info
Festival Year:2020
Program Category:Canadian Spectrum
Film Subjects:Activism
Animals & Animal Rights
Crime & Intrigue
Cast/Crew Info
Director(s):Nathalie Bibeau
Producer(s):Nathalie Bibeau
Frederic Bohbot
Editor(s):Vincent Guignard
Writer(s):Nathalie Bibeau
Cinematography:Christian Bielz
Composer:Anaïs Larocque
Raphael Reed
Sound:Tod Van Dyk


Closed Captions Icon  Streaming with closed captions

Winner—Rogers Audience Award

Marineland has been a Niagara Falls tourist magnet since 1961, a place where families flocked to see dolphins, whales and walruses perform with their human trainers. For more than a decade, Philip Demers worked there as a trainer; when he developed a unique bond with a walrus named Smooshi, their relationship wooed the public and garnered international media attention. But in 2012, Demers quit his job and along with several former co-workers broke his silence, alleging that the captive animals were suffering from negligent treatment and unhealthy living conditions. Their firsthand accounts provided key evidence for animal rights activists who lobbied to shut Marineland down. After turning on his employer and demanding protection for the animals, Demers was served with a lawsuit, but saw his social media following explode. Highlighting the consequences of whistleblowing and the politics of enacting lasting change, this timely tale poignantly tallies the cost of speaking your truth in an age of instant communication. Alexander Rogalski

This film includes a pre-recorded Q&A.

Watch on CBC GEM

Canadian Spectrum program sponsored by
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Additional Information

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