As much as we all come to ShoWest for the sneak peeks on upcoming summer blockbusters, every once in a while there is a truly important film that hits and you have to say something about it. With a great story, amazing footage, and a great message, The Cove is definitely the must see film of the convention.
I know what you’re thinking, that this film is not as fun as some of the other films they have played or as “easy to watch” as The Proposal. I understand that feeling. In fact, after watching The Hurt Locker and Is Anybody There? I almost missed out on The Cove, because I didn’t want to see another heart-wrenching film, but luckily something in me made me go. I’m so glad I did, because this is an important, well-made film that made me feel invigorated and ready for action.
After watching the documentary I feel like the least, the VERY least I could do is try to spread the word about the film so that it can hopefully make an impact.
The film is about the massive dolphin massacres, which take over 23,000 dolphin lives a year, from small cove in Taiji. The film begins with narration by Richard O’Barry, the original capturer and trainer for dolphins on the TV show “Flipper.” He is the man who started the whole idea of capturing dolphins for our amusement. Although O’Barry was once the problem, he has now become the solution. He realized the harm that he was doing to he animals he worked with, so after 10 years of training them, he began to try to free them and found that it wasn’t as easy as he had hoped.
Since his change of heart he has spent 35 years trying to undo what he started. In the process he has given up his life and money, has had several friends murdered during protests, has been arrested more times than he can count and is currently being hunted by the Japanese government.
The films goal is not to save the dolphins (although they would have loved to), but to make people aware of the events going on so that they can help make changes from their homes. The problem with the massacres is not just with the few horrible fisherman who are destroying them, but with the government that supports and promotes the killings.
I will have a review as soon as possible (not allowed to post them from here), but until them check out the trailer and some informative websites and facts below. And when the film comes to theaters, don’t shy away from it, it’s not only about how to save the dolphins but it’s an important message to what we are doing to our own world.
Also, in case you’re wondering, the violence in the film is used very sparingly. It’s more about what’s going on then trying to disgust you into submission.
Find out more about about the problem now…
For more information on the movie and how to help:
More quick facts about what’s going on:
- About 23,000 dolphins, porpoises and other small whales are killed in Japan every year, making it the largest scale slaughter of cetaceans in the world.
- About 2,500 dolphins and other small whales are killed in the so-called dolphin drive hunt that takes place six months out of the year.The rest are killed with handheld harpoons out at sea.
- In the small fishing village of Taiji, Wakayama prefecture, the dolphin drive hunt is carried out by about 26 fishermen from September 1st though March.
- Operating with 13 motorized boats, the fishermen go out to sea at early sunrise and look for migrating dolphins. Banging on metal pipes submerged into the water, they terrorize the dolphins with a “wall of sound,” causing the dolphins to panic.
- Terrorizing the dolphins with underwater sound, the fishermen herd the dolphins into a secret killing cove close to Taiji Town.
- Often times, dolphins die during the chase that can last eight hours or more.
- The Taiji fishermen claim that dolphins eat too much fish and therefore must be exterminated.
- Operating with a permit from their government, the Taiji fishermen have referred to the dolphin hunt as “pest control.”
- The majority of people in Japan have no knowledge about the annual dolphin blood bath.
- The fishermen kill the dolphins with spears, fishermen’s hooks and knives. Trashing about in their own blood, the dolphins emit high-pitched screams during the massacre.
- The slaughtered dolphins are processed into meat and distributed to supermarkets throughout Japan for human consumption.
- Dolphin meat from drive hunts in Taiji proved to be highly contaminated with toxic chemicals such as mercury, methyl mercury and PCBs.
- Repeated chemical analyses have shown that the level of mercury in dolphin meat is much higher than the maximum allowable level set by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare of Japan.
- Some of the dolphin meat is given to children as part of their school lunch program.
- The Japanese government and the supermarkets issue no warning that dolphin meat is mercury-contaminated.
- The fishermen of Taiji have told us that the Japanese people have no right to know about the dolphin hunt or the high levels of mercury found in the meat.
- Concealing this information from the public is a violation of Article 21 of the Japanese Constitution.
- Some members of the international aquarium and zoo industry are strongly connected to the Japanese dolphin slaughter, in that they pay top dollar for dolphins deemed suitable for commercial exploitation in dolphin shows and captive dolphin swim programs.
- Dolphinariums throughout the world, including Japan, repeatedly make the claim that captivity of dolphins promotes dolphin conservation and protection.
- Several of the hundreds of captive dolphins in Japan’s 50 dolphinariums were obtained through the dolphin drive hunts; yet the dolphinariums do nothing to educate the public to the hunt.
- The World Association for Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) is the world’s largest network of zoos and aquariums around the world.
- Dolphinariums that have conducted business with the dolphin killers of Japan have been welcomed into WAZA’s network, although the trade in these dolphins clearly violates WAZA’s Code of Ethics.
- The dolphins that are purchased by members of the dolphin captivity industry represent a much higher commercial value to the Japanese dolphin hunters than the ones that are slaughtered for meat.
- Live dolphins captured in a Taiji dolphin drive hunt recently sold for $154,000 per dolphin.
- The Japanese dolphin hunt will continue for as long as members of the international dolphinarium industry continue to reward the hunters for show quality dolphins, thereby making the hunt tremendously profitable.
- The most sought after dolphin species for public display are bottlenose dolphins, orcas, white sided dolphins, Risso’s dolphins, pilot whales and Pseudo orcas, all of which have been targeted in the Japanese dolphin drive hunt.