VT Film Review: The Cove

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Photo: Freediver Mandy-Rae Cruickshank ascends with the dolphins in Lionsgate Home Entertainment’s The Cove (Photo Courtesy of Oceanic Preservation Society)

Presented by the Oceanic Preservation Society, the feature-length documentary film The Cove luridly exposes the horror of the dolphin trade and slaughter in Taiji, Japan.

Leading the mission is Ric O’Barry, the dolphin trainer for the ’60s TV show Flipper who realized the terrible cruelty of confining these highly intelligent and emotional mammals when the original “Flipper,” a dolphin named Cathy, died in his arms after experiencing severe depression from tank confinement.  Seeking to release all imprisoned dolphins and educate the public about the horrors experienced by this overlooked species, O’Barry is now a crusader for animal rights. He explains, “I spent 10 years building that industry up, and I spent the last 35 years trying to tear it down.”

O’Barry hires a hi-tech team of cameramen to witness the slaughter from every angle. From cameras hidden in fake rocks to thermal cams, underwater cams, and helicopter cams, O’Barry’s team bravely risks Japanese arrest to expose the violent reality of the covert operations in Taiji, the largest supplier of dolphins to water parks all over the world and a city responsible for the slaughter of thousands of dolphins annually. Even though dolphin meat contains toxic levels of mercury, it is widely eaten in Taiji and deliberately mislabeled as whale meat throughout Japan.

This jaw-dropping documentary motivates viewers to take action against this tragic injustice. The Cove is now available on DVD, and can be purchased at http://www.lionsgateshop.com or wherever DVDs are sold.

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—Anna Monette Roberts, Editorial Assistant

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