Colorado College / sophomore year

“The Cove” screening

So…

On Thursday, April 25, 2013, CC’s PeaceJam club hosted a screening of The Cove, the 2009 Sundance Film Festival documentary winner. The documentary was a combination of Flipper and The Bourne Identity. According to the summary on IMDb, “using state-of-the-art equipment, a group of activists, led by renowned dolphin trainer Ric O’Barry, infiltrate a cove near Taijii, Japan to expose both a shocking instance of animal abuse and a serious threat to human health.”
my "The Cove" screening ticket!

my “The Cove” screening ticket!

The Cove (2009)

The Cove (2009)

After the 2-hour screening, the director Louie Psihoyos actually came on stage for a Q&A session. I actually got to ask him a question, so that’s one item struck from my bucketlist! My question was on whether the documentary received public backlash from Japan, specifically the Japanese government and the town of Taiji (where the yearly dolphin massacre took place). He told the audience that there was actually not that much negative backlash. According to Louie, the whalers and fishermen from Taiji hired a yakuza group (which is actually a registered group under Japanese government, who knew?) to disturb and threaten the distributor of The Cove in Japan. What happend – and this was caught on national television – was the group drove up to the house in large cars and used megaphones to protest the distribution. When this did not work, they actually stormed the house and yelled at the distributor’s wife, frightening his children – all while the distributor was at work. Having caught the public’s attention, people began demanding the Japanese government to show the documentary in theaters, asking why they were not allowed to see a documentary about Japan. Having previously banned The Cove from Japanese theaters, the government was forced to give in.

Director Louie Psihoyos

Director Louie Psihoyos

According to Louie, after the documentary was released, the number of dolphins killed dropped from 23,000 a year to 10,000. But that is still 10,000 too many. Louie said the fishermen still continue this horrible practice, even against public protest. At the end of the Q&A session, he showed us the trailer for the sequel to The Cove, which was based mainly in New York. The upcoming sequel, apparently still untitled and therefore code-named The Heist, focuses on the team’s efforts to continue public education, and to stop New York (and therefore the world) in it’s tracks by a huge public display. It also focused on secret sting investigations on restaurants selling whale and dolphin meat, and showcasing the amount of carbon dioxide and methane we release into the atmosphere everyday through the use of dual-cameras (one side showcases what is visible to our eyes, the other shows infrared vision to view the gaseous fumes). The sequel will be released Summer of 2014…still a long way to go, sadly!

upcoming sequel, "The Heist" (2014)

upcoming sequel, “The Heist” (2014)

If you want to help Louie Psihoyos and his team spread the word about the on-going dolphin massacre, go to http://www.takepart.com/cove and, if you are in the United States, text “DOLPHIN” to 44144 to receive updates on their progress.

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