Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Cove

intense and gripping, but manipulative

for a documentary, the makers of the cove sure do a lot of tampering with their subject matter. richard o'barry (the trainer/actor from the flipper tv series) is a dolphin activist. he's been saving, or trying to save dolphins for years and has a deep love and connection towards them. it's easy to understand, they are gorgeous creatures and very smart. in taijii japan they gather up dolphins for sale to museums and sea world type theme parks around the world. they are very valuable to the city. the ones who don't make the grade are suprisingly killed and sold for meat.
richard and his friend gather up some experts to attempt to expose the small village in japan for their anual brutal slaughter of dolphins in a secret cove. the group of activists go on a covert mission to place hidden cameras in spots where no one, other than the fishermen and government, has seen. the footage they get is shocking and brutal to be sure. the film documents the mission, the killings, and plenty of background on the issue, including detailing the very high mercury levels that dolphins contain. the japanese government hides this secret from the world and the cops/fishermen in the area are very testy when it comes to outsiders seeing what they do there.
now don't get me wrong, killing these creatures sure seems awful and horrific and wrong (which it surely is in my opinion)... but it isn't nearly as bad as factory farming, and the practice brings in shit tons of money for these people. how and why would they stop doing this? it would damage their economy tremendously. the cause is noble, but the only solution is to make them quit. that's not good enough. the only way to end atrocities like this would to end the demand, and that may never happen. the filmmakers manipulate the film in such a way that it becomes unreal and that is troublesome. how much of their footage is real? they created the action themselves. i admire the guerrilla filmmaking style, but i think they probably left out a lot which is sad.

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