The Cove

In the small town of Taiji Japan a big secret lies in a small-unseen cove.  The slaughter of hundreds of dolphins a year can be seen through the yearly destruction and the red sea that washes away the evidence.  The message of the Cove is this and the story follows the impassioned individuals who try and out this story.

Similar to a top-secret military campaign the protagonist complies a group of people to investigate the situation.  They secretly set up cameras and sound equipment to monitor the horrific site.  With opposition from the local fishermen and the police, stakes were high.  All this led to the climax of the film when the disturbing images are shown.  This is not for the faint of heart.

Although this film is made and watched with heartache you can see the reason why dolphins deserve the chance to be saved.  In increments throughout the film facts of dolphins intelligence and human characteristics are presented.  Ric O’Barry, the renowned trainer turned activist best known for his work in the Flipper series, explains that dolphins have the ability to register there appearance and notice it in a mirror.  Dolphins are also highly evolved creatures that create games for themselves, can communicate as well as having moods.  What I found most interesting was the point made that we have these creatures that can rival our intelligence yet we communicate with them through sign language.  A language they cannot communicate back because they don’t have hands.  The point is made that is it our need to show dominance over these creatures that is holding them back.

Ric O'Barry

Documentaries like this are made in part to shock you into action.  In some respect you need to watch them realizing the other side of the story usually isn’t presented.  With that sad I had some problems with this film.  Instead of building the problem on a governmental/policy side they went to direct action.   This is definitely the more forward and evidently more powerful way of looking at the problem.  I by no means want to belittle the situation or subtract from the problem but as the film ended little has changed.  Change for this problem had to have come through a political approach.

The Cove won the Oscar for Best Documentary two weeks ago.

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