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Maybe you've seen it all, and maybe you're already steeped in outraged, activist documentaries. But you haven't seen anything quite like The Cove, unless you can visualize a disturbing combination of Upton Sinclair's The Jungle, Free Willy, and the killing of Bambi's mother. The Cove is directed by the experienced National Geographic photographer Louie Psihoyos, who sets about to uncover a shocking (but regular) ritual on the Japanese coast: the herding and slaughter of thousands of bottlenose dolphins in the town of Taiji. A few dolphins are saved during this process, and sold off to aquariums so they can perform in water shows. The rest are crowded together and--away from prying eyes--stabbed to death, their meat sold as food. (Interviewing Japanese people on the street, they apparently have no idea that the "whale meat" on sale in stores is actually mercury-saturated bottlenose dolphin.) It's not that this mass killing is secret, exactly, but the fishermen of Taiji have done a proactive job of keeping cameras and other observers from getting a good look. Psihoyos wants to change all that, and he assembles a swashbuckling squad of scientists, filmmakers, and nerds (including movie F/X people who design fake rocks for hidden video cameras) to extra-legally smuggle recording equipment into the cove. The team's spiritual and emotional captain is Richard O'Barry, the man who helped popularize dolphins as cuddly animals as the trainer of TV's Flipper back in the 1960s--and who, horrified by the way dolphins have been used in public displays, has been an anti-captivity activist for decades. The footage that results is so shocking it should cause seismic reactions in viewers, and when O'Barry attends a meeting of the International Whaling Commission (portrayed by the film as ineffectual and/or bought off by Japanese interests) armed with video of the slaughter, he's like Rocky Balboa climbing into the ring for one more big fight. After what we've seen in the film at that point, it's unlikely many viewers won't be rooting him on. -Robert Horton
The people doing this excellent documentary are very brave activists.
In this case, the "hidden secret" is the capturing and slaughtering of thousands of dolphins each year in the small fishing town of Taiji, Wakayama Prefecture, Japan.
The goal of The Cove is to stop the dolphin slaughter by exposing exactly what happens in Taiji.
While this is good and brings light to the situation in Japan, it is by no means as riveting and captivating (no pun intended) as Blackfish. Read morePublished 7 days ago by jason hooker
A powerful documentary. Really courage being displayed! A movie that everyone should see and a place that everyone should know about.Published 17 days ago by Rajiv Mathew
The horrible situations involving dolphins, in Japan is heart breaking. This documentary is very clear in sending the message of the pain and destruction caused by Japans practice... Read morePublished 19 days ago by Linda L Gall
The story is so depressing but true. I didn't love the movie, but am so very glad someone is telling the truth, as heartbreaking as it is. Thank you.Published 23 days ago by r. mccampbell
|Topic||From this Discussion|
|Why is eating dolphins bad?||
In the film, many of the people in the town of Taiji actually have extremely high levels of mercury in there hair samples. This is believed to be caused by the frequent consumption of whale and dolphin meat by the people of the town.
ZombiBoi is correct - the population of dolphin is... Read More
Sep 26, 2011 by JMM | See all 8 posts
|Proceeds of 'The Cove' question||
The Save Japan Dolphins Campaign and Earth Island Institute do not get any funds from The Cove movie sales. (Those funds go to the OPS, which made the film, and their investors to reimburse them for their considerable costs in making The Cove.)
Mar 8, 2010 by Rose | See all 4 posts
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