Designed to shock and stir

Designed to shock and stir

November 04, 2012
October 21, 2012
October 21, 2012
October 21, 2012
October 14, 2012
October 14, 2012
October 14, 2012
October 14, 2012
October 07, 2012
October 07, 2012
If the Japanese government had their way, what happens at the cove would stay at the cove.

Luckily, dolphin conservationist Richard O'Barry and an elite team of activists will stop at almost nothing to expose the annual slaughtering of dolphins at the cove in Taiji, Japan.

Directed by Louie Psihoyos, a member of the team, documentary The Cove presents the atrocities that occur at the cove, where 20,000 dolphins are slaughtered each year. The film also outlines the massive conspiracy behind the dolphin trade, which is perpetuated by the Japanese government's fear that dolphins will one day wipe out fish for human consumption.

The team planted hidden cameras in and around the cove to record the activities. They even designed artificial rocks to house the cameras to avoid detection. Sound-capturing devices were placed on the ocean floor to capture the dolphins' eerie squealing.

As with most documentaries, the opposing side isn't treated fairly. Shots and interviewees are clearly manipulated, with clever cuts, to make them look foolish.

As expected, angry fishermen - presented as barbaric, and unsympathetic towards dolphins - are constantly looking for ways to stop the team. Any attempts to photograph or film the activities are met with the fishermen's harsh words and physical intimidation.

The film does a great job of arousing our sympathy by giving dolphins a human touch. Viewers can't help but pity the poor creatures. The narrator stresses throughout that dolphins have a self-consciousness similar to humans. Lingering shots of the crimson waters, after a day of slaughtering, are meant to shock you into doing something about the issue.

A free e-booklet on The Cove and dolphin conservation is available courtesy of the Hong Kong Dolphin Conservation Society (HKDCS) at www.hkdcs.org/en/t_en/home.html

Contains disturbing scenes

The Cove opens on Thursday

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