'The Cove' Puts Pressure on Taiji Fishermen, Dolphins To Be Released
BOULDER, Colorado (September 10, 2009) - Fishermen in Taiji, Japan will
be releasing captured dolphins this week in response to international outcry
following the award-winning film "The Cove." Some of the dolphins captured
during the annual round up will be sold to aquariums, and while the rest are
typically slaughtered in secret, the fishermen will be releasing them
because of recent criticism.
An anonymous Taiji fisheries official
said that it's not clear whether the town will stop killing dolphins
permanently. Taiji residents see the dolphin hunt as a tradition that is no
different than killing other animals for food. However, the dolphins that
are killed and sold as food, often as mislabeled whale meat, contain toxic
levels of mercury and are potentially poisoning Japanese consumers.
"The Cove" which won the Best Documentary Audience Award at this year's
Sundance Film Festival and over a dozen international film festival awards,
exposes the Taiji dolphin slaughter and its consequences for Japanese public
health. Louie Psihoyos, Director of the film, says, "The Cove is proof that
one passionate person can make a difference and that together a few
like-minded people can change the world. If the news is indeed true then
this is a big victory for dolphins and the Japanese people." Psihoyos has
written to Japanese Ambassador Ichiro Fujisaki asking him to confirm the
status of the dolphin drives.
News of the suspension of the dolphin
killings comes after immense public support and calls to end the practice
from a number of celebrities, including Hayden Panettiere, Isabel Lucas, Ben
Stiller, Zooey Deschanel, and Yoko Ono. Russell Simmons has also embraced
the film by hosting a special screening of "The Cove" last night in New York
to raise awareness.
The fishermen in Taiji captured about 100
bottlenose dolphins and 50 pilot whales on Wednesday, with plans to sell
some of their catch to aquariums for up to $150,000 per animal. While
Psihoyos is pleased with the decision to release the unsold dolphins, the
news is a mixed success.
"I'm thrilled that these dolphins won't be
killed, resulting in less mercury-tainted meat on the market in Japan,"
Psihoyos said, "but the ideal scenario would be one where wild dolphins are
not captured at all. When wild intelligent and sentient animals are captured
and forced to tricks for our casual amusement - it says more about our
intelligence than theirs."
The Bloody Cove trailer
the flv file
HuffPost Review: The Cove
The Cove were a fiction film, it would be derided as far-fetched, contrived, even hard to swallow.
The fact that it's nonfiction doesn't make it any easier to believe -- if only because the footage is so horrifying, the facts so disturbing. It's not that you can't believe it, but that you don't want to. Which is what makes The Cove one of the most important and heroic pieces of work I've ever seen. It's not just that these filmmakers expose vicious, inhumane and ecologically dangerous practices, apparently sanctioned and covered up by the Japanese government and its media. But the filmmakers have done it while risking their freedom -- even their lives -- for the cause.
The result is the year's most exciting film -- as well as a documentary that can't help but leave you upset and outraged...
http://www.huffingt onpost.com/ marshall- fine/huffpost- review-ithe- cove_b_245206. html
DOLPHIN SLAUGHTER MOVIE ISN'T JUST FOR ANIMAL RIGHTS FANATICS
Miami Times, Natalie O'Neill, April 1, 2009
Riptide is a bit contrary by nature. So when we heard that critics from Rolling
Stone and New York Magazine were raving over The Cove -- an environmental
expos�-meets-heist documentary starring South Miami guy Ric O'Barry -- we
secretly wanted to hate it. But when filmmakers showed the first public
screening of the movie to a standing-room-only crowd last night at Miami City
Hall, we just couldn't dislike it. We're no film critic, but this is one smart,
exciting, and sometimes hilarious movie.
The documentary follows Flipper's former dolphin trainer, Ric O'Barry, as he
tries to stop a heartbreaking dolphin slaughter at a hidden sea cove in a small
Japanese fishing town. (O'Barry calls it "the little town with a big secret.")
The film becomes more like Ocean's Eleven when the ballsy film crew decides to
sneak cameras in fake rocks, despite strict police regulation. They plant
microphones at the ocean's floor and use military-grade thermal cameras to pull
off the operation.
Filmmaker Louie Psihoyos -- once a National Geographic photographer -- did a
great job building tension and keeping a narrative thread, which seems like a
lot of so-called important documentaries fail to do. As the packed city hall
audience munched free pop corn, nobody whispered, left mid-movie, or fidgeted.
During the slaughter scene, the woman next to Riptide put a coat over her face
as the sound of screaming dolphins echoed through the theater. An older balding
fellow in one row over had tears welling in his big brown eyes.
The movie also touches on other issues: mercury poisoning, the ethics of
hunting, and censorship. Best of all: The movie promises to make ordinary people
-- not only animal rights fanatics -- pay attention. (Afterward, a gentleman in
the audience asked, "What can we do?")
The Cove is scheduled to come out in theaters this July, though an official date
hasn't been set.