The Cove

"Excellent"

The Cove Review


Funded by the Oceanic Preservation Society, this film virtually creates a new genre: the horror doc. It's a gripping and compelling film about something utterly unthinkable. And it makes a superb companion piece to the milder (but no less important) The End of the Line.

Ric O'Barry is the man who caught and trained the dolphins for the 1960s TV series Flipper. And when one of them committed suicide due to the stress of captivity, he dedicated his life to freeing dolphins. As he explains, these are sentient beings whose social structures and playful natures are destroyed by being held in tanks. And over the years his attention has focussed on the town of Taiji, Japan, where many of the world's trained dolphins are caught. But even worse, the dolphins that don't make the cut are taken into a cove and pointlessly slaughtered.

Most of this documentary had to be shot using covert methods, which get increasingly complex as the filmmakers try to get footage from this top-secret cove where some 23,000 dolphins are killed annually. Along the way we meet experts, politicians, sportsmen and activists, all of whom have something important to add. The big questions loom heavily: why isn't Greenpeace pressuring Japan's government about this? Why is the International Whaling Commission (dolphins are a whale species) letting this happen unchallenged?

As this extremely thorough and balanced film lays out the facts, it becomes clear that the only way to stop this is to expose it, and a massive espionage operation pulls us in with its sheer entertainment value. There are high-tech cameras and microphones, highly skilled free-divers and special effects camera-hiding rocks made by George Lucas' special effects company. Meanwhile, O'Barry and friends are followed and threatened wherever they go.

Local fishermen argue that dolphin-killing is a cultural tradition (cut to the horrified Japanese public), while politicians say that the meat is served in schools (even though it's actually toxic with mercury poisoning). But nothing argues more loudly than the footage itself, which is simply horrifying in its sheer brutality. It's bad enough that the Japanese government has essentially bought the whaling commission while indulging in rampant false propaganda. But no other country has an excuse for letting this happen.



The Cove

Facts and Figures

Run time: 92 mins

In Theaters: Thursday 20th August 2009

Box Office USA: $0.6M

Distributed by: Roadside Attractions

Production compaines: Diamond Docs, Fish Films, Oceanic Preservation Society, Quickfire Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 94%
Fresh: 119 Rotten: 7

IMDB: 8.5 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: Paula DuPre Pesman,

Starring: Joe Chisholm as Himself, Mandy-Rae Cruikshank as Herself, Charles Hambleton as Himself, Simon Hutchins as Himself, Kirk Krack as Himself, as Herself, Richard O'Barry as Himself, as Herself, Roger Payne as Himself, John Potter as Himself, as Himself

Also starring: ,

Contactmusic


Links


Advertisement

New Movies

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

After the thunderous reception for J.J. Abrams' Episode VII: The Force Awakens two years ago,...

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Like the 2015 original, this comedy plays merrily with cliches to tell a silly story...

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

There's a somewhat contrived jauntiness to this blending of fact and fiction that may leave...

Ferdinand Movie Review

Ferdinand Movie Review

This animated comedy adventure is based on the beloved children's book, which was published in...

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Director Dave McCary makes a superb feature debut with this offbeat black comedy, which explores...

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

A dramatisation of the real-life clash between tennis icons Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs,...

Shot Caller Movie Review

Shot Caller Movie Review

There isn't much subtlety to this prison thriller, but it's edgy enough to hold the...

Advertisement
The Disaster Artist Movie Review

The Disaster Artist Movie Review

A hilariously outrageous story based on real events, this film recounts the making of the...

Stronger Movie Review

Stronger Movie Review

Based on a true story about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, this looks like one...

Only the Brave Movie Review

Only the Brave Movie Review

Based on a genuinely moving true story, this film undercuts the realism by pushing its...

Wonder Movie Review

Wonder Movie Review

This film may be based on RJ Palacio's fictional bestseller, but it approaches its story...

Happy End  Movie Review

Happy End Movie Review

Austrian auteur Michael Haneke isn't known for his light touch, but rather for hard-hitting, award-winning...

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Seemingly from out of nowhere, this film generates perhaps the biggest smile of any movie...

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

A Victorian thriller with rather heavy echoes of Jack the Ripper, this film struggles to...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.