The Cove by director Louie Psihoyos may be the most powerful movie I’ve seen this year. It makes me want to change my behavior. This is a movie made not by filmmakers but by activists. And you feel the passion in every frame.
As a viewer, you’re transported to Taiji, Japan, a place that feels like a resort for dolphins, whales, and those who love them. But the reality is just plain gruesome. Richard O’Barry (Flipper’s trainer who now works to free captive dolphins) is intent on pulling back the curtain to reveal the truth.
Every September, Taiji begins its annual dolphin harvest. A wall of boats corral hundreds of dolphins into a large lagoon. There, dolphin trainers pick their favorites to sell to water parks around the world for $150,000 or more. The dolphins that don’t make the cut? Rather than returning them to the open waters, they are herded into a secret cover where they are brutally murdered.
The secret cove is protected by local government officials and fishermen to ensure that no one sees the horrors occurring there. The filmmakers go to great lengths to document the harvest. This movie plays like a spy thriller as the team plans secret missions to plant hidden cameras and microphones in the hope of shining a light on this unnecessary slaughter.
The final scenes in The Cove are difficult to watch. But more people need to see them. I’m sure that as the world sees what’s really happening, these fishermen will be shamed into stopping their barbaric practices. Congratulations to these activists turned filmmakers for a powerful movie that will make a difference.