Eco-documentary, from National Geographic photographer Louie Psihoyos and marine crusade Richard O'Barry, campaigning for the end to dolphin slaughter in Taiji, Japan.
In Taiji, dolphin's are captured for the world's dolphinariums. The grotesque by-product of this already questionable trade is that surplus dolphins are slaughtered and passed off as whale meat in the supermarkets of Japan. The film follows US conservation group Oceanic Preservation Society – equipped and financed to the tune of $5 million by Netscape founder Jim Clark – as it covertly penetrates the massive wall of security around the operation in order to capture the footage that should blow this operation out of the water. Former Flipper trainer Ric O'Barry, painfully aware of the role that TV series had in popularising performing dolphin shows, is an eloquent and moving exponent of dolphin rights and a clued-up commentator on the intransigence of the Japanese and the ineffectiveness of the International Whaling Commission. (Source: NZ International Film Festival)
Academy Award winner for Best Documentary, 2010. Audience Award (Documentary), Sundance Film Festival 2009.
Eco-activist documentaries don't get much more compelling than The Cove, an impassioned piece of advocacy filmmaking that follows "Flipper" trainer-turned-marine crusader Richard O'Barry in his efforts to end dolphin slaughter in Taiji, Japan.
Like the director's cover story, the movie is a Trojan horse: an exceptionally well-made documentary that unfolds like a spy thriller, complete with bugged hotel rooms, clandestine derring-do and mysterious men in gray flannel suits.
A powerful and effective piece of advocacy filmmaking, but it's difficult to watch it without thinking of subtitles like "The Place Where Evil Dwells" or "The Little Town With the Really Big Secret." Which is no accident.
Shot rivetingly by cinematographer Brooke Aitken, who combines digital, night-vision and thermal-imaging formats into a formidable package, the footage is edited tautly by Geoffrey Richman and enhanced measurably by J. Ralph's suspenseful score.