Editor’s Note: The Cove won the Oscar for Best Feature Documentary! Congratulations!
Thanks to the passionate filmmakers who spread awareness through this documentary and to viewers who took action, including those who signed the Care2 petition.
Some articles just write themselves and some I just can’t get started. Well today, I’m stuck with the latter problem. I have so much to say, I just don’t know how to do it elegantly, so I’m just going with it.
Go see The Cove.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with this movie, it’s the story of Ric O’Barry, the man who trained Flipper for the TV show of the same name, and inadvertently started a multi-million dollar dolphin industry. O’Barry is the first human to have had longterm intimate contact with these creatures (who some say may be more intelligent than humans) and quickly realized that captivity was not where they belonged. Over the past 35 years he has continued a quest to free captive dolphins, and The Cove is the culmination (but surely not the end) of his trek.
This is the point where I’d usually explain what the movie is about, but the trailer on page two will do a much better job than I can. Go ahead, click to the next page, and check it out. I’ll wait.
As you can see, this is a powerful film with a powerful message. But for those of you who may be repulsed at the idea of watching dolphins die for 90 minutes, let me assure you that THE MOVIE CONTAINS LESS THAN 90 SECONDS OF GRAPHIC FOOTAGE AND NONE OF IT IS ANY WORSE THAN WHAT IS IN THE TRAILER.
OK, now that that’s behind me, here’s why I love this movie. For starters, it’s extremely well-crafted. Trust me when I say that while you are watching, you’ll have to remind yourself that this is not a scripted thriller, but in fact a real life drama that is playing out before your eyes. It is an espionage story of the highest caliber that will have you on the edge of your seat until the last frame.
Next up is what the movie stands for. We have all made mistakes in our lives right? Well how about making the kind of mistake that O’Barry unknowingly made, and then not only spending the rest of your life trying to right it, but publicly taking full responsibility for what you have done in order to right that mistake. It shows an incredible amount of character and is something to witness.
Probably most importantly though is that this is not only a movie with a message, but is a movie that is doing something about it. Since the opening of the film, the annual dolphin round up in Taiji has not begun this year. Considering that annually 23,000 dolphins are usually killed in the roundup this is a huge change. Furthermore, the program that fed mercury tainted dolphin meat to schoolchildren has been halted, and the people of Taiji are starting to submit to voluntary mercury testing now that they know about the dolphin program. So it has had a positive effect on a real world problem.
So here’s what you can do to help:
- See the film.
- Tell others to see the film and let them know it is not full of gory images, but an amazing, inspiring, entertaining and inevitably uplifting film.
- Join the Facebook page Cove Kids (set up by a bunch of students who were moved to do something) and record your thoughts.
- Text DOLPHIN to 44144 to join the movement.
- Add the movie to your Netflix cue to show interest in the film.
- Click here to find even more ways to help.
While The Cove may be about the dolphin roundup in Taiji, it is really about so much more. This film is a portal into larger questions about what we are doing to the other species on the planet and to ourselves. Overfishing, species depletion, government agendas, mercury poisoning and so much more all play out from this one simple quest to right a wrong. Perhaps the film will be a jumping off point for some and will serve to remind us that we are not alone here, and more importantly, that in order to continue as a species, we will need to adapt and live in harmony with the other beings that surround us, rather than subjecting them to our every whim.