The Cove

While I really should have been cleaning my house today, I perused suggested movies in Netflix and came across The Cove.  I decided to start it while I swept, if only to have something in the background. The documentary is about dolphin slaughter in Taiji, Japan. The movie’s website offers a great synopsis:

Academy Award® Winner for Best Documentary of 2009, THE COVE follows an elite team of activists, filmmakers and freedivers as they embark on a covert mission to penetrate a remote and hidden cove in Taiji, Japan, shining a light on a dark and deadly secret. Utilizing state-of-the-art techniques, including hidden microphones and cameras in fake rocks, the team uncovers how this small seaside village serves as a horrifying microcosm of massive ecological crimes happening worldwide. The result is a provocative mix of investigative journalism, eco-adventure and arresting imagery, adding up to an unforgettable story that has inspired audiences worldwide to action.

Within the first few minutes I was very interested and sadly for my house,  never swept anything beyond the room the TV is in.

As the movie unfolded and facts about dolphins were presented, I realized that there was a LOT I didn’t know about these extremely intelligent aquatic mammals. Apparently a lot of people are confused by a dolphin’s “smile” when they see them in captivity; their facial expression belies the stress they are under when not allowed to live in the wild (in fact, I learned that the National Aquarium in Baltimore had a huge problem with dolphins dying from stress when it first opened). One of the main interviwees in the film, Richard O’Barry, was the trainer of the five dolphins who played “Flipper” on the TV show. After working as a trainer with the Miami Seaquarium for 10 years, he realized keeping dolphins in captivity was cruel and should not be tolerated. He has made it his mission in life to save dolphins.

This movie is a must-see! It is riveting and even somewhat suspenseful at times. There are scenes that are not suitable for young kids (dolphins dying) so you’ll want to screen it before watching it during family movie night. It is available through Netflix streaming; a great service that allows you to watch a movie without having to go get it or have it shipped.

At the end, you are directed to a site with more information about what you can do to end the dolphin slaughter:

  1. Write to our leaders and help get the word out in Japan
  2. Learn more about dolphins in captivity
  3. Visit our Japanese site ; ザ・コーヴ映画の日本のサイトをご覧ください。
  4. Help Save Japan Dolphins’ efforts on the frontlines
  5. Support the filmmakers with your donation