Theatre and Film Appreciation PatarchatSorkhay (May) 534 07519 22 ³Review: The Cove´

During the 1960s, O'Barry captured and trained dolphins for a TV series called, Flipper (in which he was the main cast.) He had popularized the notion that marine mammals are happy to perform tricks in captivity. O'Barry became the world's most famous dolphin trainer but his growing sense against marine captivity was evoked one day when Kathy, the dolphin that played ³Flipper´ most of the time, died in his arms. As O'Barry explained, dolphins are not automatic breathers, and Kathy "committed suicide by not taking her next breath." The next day, O'Barry was jailed for releasing dolphins from Miami¶s sea Aquarium. From then on, he dedicated the rest of his life campaigning against the multi-billion-dollar dolphin captivity industry. Finally, O'Barry is about to get the world's attention. His efforts have inspired an astonishing documentary called The Cove, which exposed the world to the dirty little secret behind dolphin showbiz. This devastating exposure takes us to Taiji, a seaside town in Japan, where dolphins are captured for export to aquariums around the world. Thousands of others are slaughtered for their flesh, a mercury-laden meat that was fed to Japanese schoolchildren as part of a free but compulsory lunch program; kids were forced to clean their plates. The Cove represents a potent new prototype in the evolution of the ecodocumentary as a mix of journalism and pop entertainment. It's being marketed as a thriller. Activists have been protesting the Taija dolphin slaughter for years, playing a cat-and-mouse game with fishermen who try to stop them photographing the bay where the dolphins are trapped after boats drive them from their migration routes. But until now, no one had been able to document the cove around the corner where the slaughter takes place. Financed by Jim Clark, the creator of Netscape, director Louie Psihoyos assembled a ³Mission Impossible´ team that drew on talents ranging from Hollywood to the military. Canadian air force veteran Simon Hutchins devised sophisticated unmanned drones, including a miniature model helicopter, to shoot aerial footage of the slaughter. Charles Hambleton, a dive master who worked on the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, was in charge of "clandestine operations." He obtained militarygrade thermal cameras to monitor the movement of the guards in the dark. Model makers at George Lucas's special effects studio, ³Industrial Light and Magic´, created fake rocks designed to hide HD cameras in the cliffs. And two free divers, including world-record holder Mandy-Rae Cruickshank, smuggled underwater cameras and hydrophones into the depths of the cove to shoot the slaughter from below.As this small army descends on Taiji, they engage in a cloak -and-dagger dance with the police. Psihoyos stumbled across the Taiji dolphin story at a conference in 2000. O'Barry was listed as a keynote speaker, but his appearance was cancelled after SeaWorld, one of the sponsors, objected. His curiosity piqued, Psihoyos looked up O'Barry, who then invited him to check out Taiji.The film portrays this Japanese backwater as a kind of ³Twilight Zone´ town with a happy face and a dark secret. The town is a tourist attraction with a whale museum and an aquarium that has performing dolphins. Cartoon-like images of them adorn signs around town, and there are even sightseeing boats shaped like dolphins. "If you didn't know what was going on," says Psihoyos, "you'd think it's a town that loves dolphins and whales." The killing cove is well hidden, but dolphin meat is served at the aquarium. Twenty-three thousand dolphins and porpoises are killed in Japan every year making Taijithe world's largest dolphin slaughterhouse, according to O¶Barry. Ironically, what drives the carnage is the live captivity industry; the worldwide demand for dolphins¶ show or swim-with-dolphin programs. Live dolphins can fetch

So more than four decades after Richard O'Barry helped build an industry to drive dolphins from the wild with Flipper. Yet it's not the message or its harrowing footage of Taija's bloodbath that draw audiences to The Cove. O'Barry insists that even the more humane ones are cruel. I've never met one marine mammal vet who was loyal to the patient. while butchered ones are worth only about $600 (18. which is the most toxic non-radioactive element on the planet. It's mercury poisoning. and produce effects similar to mental retardation. Labour." O'Barry says it's impossible to get accurate data because the industry hides the numbers. the issue that the filmmakers are counting on to rescue dolphins from both fishing and capture is not animal welfare. Although dolphin aquariums often have an eco-friendly face. The Cove's crew included DNA scientist Scott Baker. and Welfare´ recommends a diet for pregnant women that includes regular portions of sperm whale.000 (4. Once driven into pens by the shore.156). they could be rescued from slaughter by catching another Hollywood wave. who tested samples of "whale meat" in Tokyo markets that was supposed to be from the less contaminated southern oceans.Theatre and Film Appreciation PatarchatSorkhay (May) 534 07519 22 ³Review: The Cove´ up to $150." Given the Internet. they're all loyal to the client.000) each. The Cove has been sold to distributors in some forty countries excluding Japan. and bottlenose dolphin. . In high concentrations it can causes impair vision and hearing. the website for Japan's ³Ministry of Health." he says.000 times Japan's legal mercury level. The crew's tests prompted Taiji's city commissioners to conduct their own tests on dolphin meat in the school lunch programs and as a result it was removed from the lunches in the area. while the rest are reserved for slaughter. destroy neurons. Is that stressful for an animal that is free-ranging and normally travels 40 miles a day? Of course it is. Like all large sea creatures near the top of the food chain. porpoise. "The dolphin's got a larger brain than the manager of the Vancouver Aquarium. and having been around the industry for 50 years." However. a marine mammal expert. which can have anywhere from five to 5. "And yet its habitat is a concrete box. Surprisingly. It's the film's value as real-life espionage thriller.that's why the mortality rate is so high in dolphin amusement parks. it is a movie that makes saving the world an entertaining prospect. "but it's more important for it to be shown in Japan than anywhere. In fact.593. Like Michael Moore's documentaries or An Inconvenient Truth.Dining on whale and dolphin meat is not unusual in Japan and is defended as part of the country's cultural and nutritional heritage. dolphins contain high levels of mercury. The film shows Taiji's fishermen driving herds of the animals toward the shore by suspending metal poles from their boats into the sea and banging on them to create a wall of sound. Psihoyos stated that the government is preventing the movie from being released. it will find a way in. "The veterinarians fill out the reports. desirable young female bottlenoses dolphins are separated for live capture. it turns out that some of it was dolphin meat containing twenty times Japan's acceptable level of mercury. dolphins are frustrated by loud noises.

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