Sunday, August 2, 2009

The Cove: A Must See Film

The Cove

Watch The Trailer

The Review

The Cove, which opens in theaters on Friday (July 31), is a chilling wake-up call for a world that is mostly unaware of the brutality going on every year in an isolated village in Japan.

The New York Timescalls The Cove "an unconventional documentary, one that looks very much like a feature film, with the dramatic arcs and suspense one would expect in a James Bond or Hollywood action movie."

Winner of numerous awards, including the Audience Awards at the 2009 Sundance, SilverDocs, Nantucket, Newport Beach and Hot Docs Film Festivals,
The Cove follows a team of activists and filmmakers as they infiltrate a heavily guarded cove in Taiji, Japan. In this remote area they witness and document activities deliberately being hidden from the public: more than 20,000 dolphins and porpoises being slaughtered each year and their meat, containing toxic levels of mercury, being sold in Japan, often labeled as whale meat.

The film begins in Taiji where former dolphin trainer Ric O'Barry has come to set things right after experiencing a crisis of conscience during the filming of the 1960s television series
Flipper. But his close relationship with those dolphins -- the very dolphins that sparked a global fascination with trained sea mammals that continues to this day -- led O'Barry to a radical change of heart. One fateful day, a crisis of conscience convinced O'Barry that these deeply sensitive, highly intelligent and self-aware creatures really belong in the open ocean. This mission has brought him to Taiji, a town that appears to be devoted to the wonders and mysteries of the sleek, playful dolphins and whales that swim off their coast.

Ric O'Barry is a marine mammal activist, a former dolphin trainer turned crusader, a hero AND a wanted man. His commitment to freeing captive dolphins around the world has landed him in prison, but the law suits, trials, surveillance, danger and personal anguish could not keep him from his mission.

Ironically, O'Barry himself was once at the epicenter of a TV show that stole the hearts of millions and fueled widespread public adoration of dolphins. As one of the world's pre-eminent dolphin trainers, he captured and trained the five wild dolphins who played the role of "Flipper" in the TV series of the same name. Day after day, he witnessed the stunning intelligence and social savvy of the animals he was working with -- he even watched in awe as they reacted to watching themselves on TV -- and he began to question what he was doing.

When one of the dolphins committed what O'Barry believes was a form of suicide in his arms, his life took a dramatic turn. "I was already starting to have a change of heart during the filming of
Flipper, but in our business we call it putting the blinders on. I was young, I had a glamorous job, I was driving a Porsche and it was easy to do. After her death, I was heartbroken."

Listen to the interview with Ric O'Barry and Louie Psihoyos

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