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Movie Review: The Cove

Prinz Lee image

Prinz Lee wrote this review 5 years and 1 month ago

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Ever wonder where dolphins in sea parks come from? This documentary explores ‘The Cove’ in Japan which supplies dolphins to sea parks and also as lunch meat to school cafeterias (I'm not kidding). I expected a tree-hugging documentary, but this film is pretty interesting and allows facts and SOME footage to speak for itself. Migrating dolphins are driven and cornered in Taijii Cove, capturing a few live dolphins for tanks and slaughtering over 20,000 each year for food, despite poisonous levels of mercury in their flesh. The goal of the film is to make the scale and pointlessness of the violence visible--no easy task, given how zealously Japan works to keep activities in the cove a secret. The result is risky suspense as the filmmakers sneak around and attempt to plant secret underwater cameras with the Japanese police hot on their heels. The results will leave you feeling completely nauseous and perhaps shocked.

One thing that bugged me after watching this film was that I think this film requires two separate reviews, one for the documentary, and another for the cause.

For starters, as a documentary, this film has a weakness. I am writing this because it contains an awful amount of padding. It is basically its own making of a documentary, with interviews on how the team met, why they felt like participating, etc. Ultimately this was necessary, because there is only very little footage of the actual killing of dolphins, and in order to get to feature film length the filmmakers had to do this. This also leaves us with the fact that the film is structured in a sense that puts the slaughter at it's climax, basically making the audience want to see that slaughter, because that's all it's building up to. It’s too bad because there would have been more possibilities. TV stations would have loved to show this footage, and the documentary could incorporate the public reaction, ending with the public response this would cause in Japan. That however would have likely reduced the profit for the filmmakers. (Capitalism, it’s the American way.)

Regarding the cause… OF COURSE I support the ban of slaughtering dolphins. However the main cause described was the animal’s intelligence, and it's self awareness. It is noted that a dolphin mother realizes when its baby is slaughtered right next to her. To that I have to say that I think most, perhaps ALL, animals likely realize that. If this is our criteria, we must honestly consider being vegetarians, (I have) because I truly believe that a cow or a pig (the common animals WE slaughter) would also notice its babies being slaughtered next to them, and would feel an emotion, just as a dolphin does. Perhaps they and other animals we eat may not be quite as smart, but they certainly value their own life and that of their young. So those are my two cents for what its worth.

Despite my feelings, I do recommend this film to everyone, not just animal lovers. It clearly displays the evil that man imposes not only upon each other (and you’ll see what I’m talking about if you view the film), but also among certain beings which we share the planet with of whom happen to be innocent of all our corruption, but sought upon as just another form of resource for the purpose of the almighty dollar… or yen in this case.



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