by Casson Trenor
August 14, 2009
One of the most important things that we can do for the planet this weekend is as simple as treating ourselves to a movie.
The United States is dotted with parks and facilities that ostensibly exist to celebrate the beauty of the ocean and its inhabitants. While I won’t name names, I’m talking about those grandiose, concrete-bunker tourist abominations that allow patrons contrived splash-zone experiences with kidnapped cetaceans. Porpoises, dolphins, and even orca are included in these marine circus acts. We watch the animals leaping through hoops and frantically clicking for their daily mackerel fix, all the while remaining blissfully ignorant of how these animals came to arrive in their current situation.
There is a ghastly, bloodthirsty force behind this calliope-and-carousel facade: the dolphin capture industry. It operates in a small, hidden bay outside Taiji, Japan, and it has finally been exposed for the monstrosity that it is by Louis Psihoyos’ new crime flick-cum-documentary, The Cove.
Winner of numerous Audiences Awards around the world, including the 2009 Sundance Film Festival, Silver Docs and Hot Docs, The Cove follows an Ocean’s Eleven-style team of underwater sound and camera experts, special effects artists, marine explorers, adrenaline junkies and world-class free divers as they carry out an undercover operation to expose unspeakable cruelties that, in this tiny Japanese bay, have become a way of life.
Utilizing state-of-the art techniques, including hidden microphones and cameras couched in fake rocks, the team uncovers how this small seaside village serves as a horrifying microcosm of massive ecological crimes happening worldwide. The Cove is the result of the team’s journey to Taiji: a provocative mix of investigative journalism, eco-adventure and arresting imagery that adds up to an urgent plea for hope.
I urge all readers of this blog to see what the New York Times calls "one of the most audacious and perilous operations in the history of the conservation movement," and what Rolling Stone describes as "a cross between Flipper and The Bourne Identity."
Witness the truth behind dolphin captivity, and help us bring this reprehensible, barbaric industry to its knees.
For a complete listing of showtimes and locations, please click here.