Blackfish, Meet the Fockers, Maidan: films on TV today

The true story of a serial-killer whale, that awkward moment when in-laws meet, and the uprising in Ukraine as it really happened: the RadioTimes team’s pick of free-to-air films on TV today

ANDREW COLLINS: FILM OF THE DAY 
Blackfish ★★★★
9.55-11.10pm BBC4 

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This sophomore feature from Gabriela Cowperthwaite about the plight of captive killer whales is one of the most heartbreaking films I have ever seen. It focuses on the life story of the 6.9m long, five-ton bull orca Tilikum, captured in 1983 off the coast of Iceland and eventually shipped to SeaWorld in Orlando. There, in 2010, Tilikum was responsible for the death of an experienced trainer. The testimony of ex-SeaWorld trainers paints a discomfiting picture of the whole showbiz fate of these wild creatures, which experience high levels of psychological stress. That said, Blackfish is as much a critique of corporate America as it is of animal cruelty. Anyone with an ounce of compassion will find it hard viewing, but important, nonetheless.


Meet the Fockers ★★★
8.10-10.00pm BBC3 

In this first sequel to Meet the Parents, Dustin Hoffman and Barbra Streisand are the hippie Fockers, whose son (Ben Stiller) is about to marry the daughter of uptight ex-CIA man Robert De Niro – much to his considerable chagrin.    


The Book of Eli ★★★
9.00-11.25pm 5★ 

A grizzled Denzel Washington has all the gravitas you could wish as the lone wanderer walking west across America on a quest that might restore hope to his post-apocalypic world.    


Pale Rider ★★★
11.05pm-1.25am ITV4 

Clint Eastwood plays reassuringly to type in this western as the enigmatic drifter who helps the put-upon members  of a mining community who are being intimidated by Richard Dysart and his gang.     


Maidan ★★★★
Premiere 1.05-3.45am Film4 

This documentary captures the raw immediacy of the protests in Kiev of November 2013. After the country’s pro-Russian president abandoned a trade deal with the EU, the people take to the streets to show their dissatisfaction.


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