REVIEW: The Cove

8 03 2010

I write to you today not out of my obligation as a blogger, but rather out of my obligation as a human being.  We are the most dominant species on this planet, and it is thus our duty to care for all the other creatures with whom we cohabit the world.

The shocking documentary “The Cove” shows our species at its absolute worst.  In Japan, a group of fishermen lead a senseless and barbaric slaughter of dolphins in a cove.  Perhaps even more shocking is how the community meets this with either apathy or the willingness to turn a blind eye.

Leading the crusade against this grave injustice is famed dolphin trainer Ric O’Barry, who blames himself for the slaughter.  O’Barry was responsible for training the dolphins on the ’60s TV show “Flipper,” which was the main reason for the large rise of popularity of the animals in America and worldwide.  However, things changed for O’Barry when one of the dolphins that he trained committed suicide in his arms out of depression.  Since then, he has committed himself to working as an advocate for dolphins, even getting arrested for trying to help them escape out of captivity.

In making the documentary, the filmmaking team of “The Cove” found themselves living out a heist film.  The people of the community wanted to protect themselves from the inevitable punishment that would come with discovery of the horrific actions occurring in their cove, and they did their share to obstruct the filmmakers from getting the real story.  They waved signs in front of the cameras and acted rudely in an attempt to illicit a reaction, which could put them in jail.

Using secret cameras and stealthy techniques, the filmmakers managed to capture the horrifying realities of the slaughter.  But the movie doesn’t just stop there.  It simply won’t settle with just pandering to WWF members.  The filmmakers expose the effects of humans, showing how the slaughter leads to dolphin meat being disguised as other meat in supermarkets.  Dolphin meat has about five times more mercury than the maximum allowable rate, and this was being served to children at schools in Japan.  (After the movie’s release, Japan stopped serving it to them.)

“The Cove” took home the Oscar for Best Documentary at the Oscars last night, but this is hardly the movie’s greatest reward. That honor is reserved for the great activism that it has inspired with its powerful filmmaking.  I have seen a few social issues documentaries, and none have gotten to me quite like this one.  “The Cove” is more than just a movie; it’s a courageous act of humanity.  A /

Please take a look at the website for “The Cove” and find out ways that you can help end this senseless slaughter.



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