8:00 PM, 31st March, 2010
This Sundance Grand Jury Nominee and Audience award-winning documentary follows Ric O’Barry, a former dolphin trainer that back in the 1960s trained Flipper. After working with dolphins and training them for years he began to realise how inhumane it was to train and make dolphins perform for human entertainment. He decided to switch sides and started campaigning against the practice.
The Cove is set on Taiji, an island in Japan where every year dolphins are secretly slaughtered for their meat and for dolphin show trading with water parks from around the world (both practices being very profitable).
This practice is so secret in Japan that O’Barry’s team had to use stealth equipment to infiltrate the titular cove in order to document how the Japanese fisherman treated the trapped dolphins, giving the film a touch of action and suspense. Ric and his team discover that they are not only killing thousands of dolphins for human consumption, but also that the levels of mercury in the dolphins themselves is of a dangerous level, creating a huge health risk for Japanese consumers.
The Cove is not your average documentary. It not only questions a foreign practice but incites the questioning of our own practices as well. The point of the film is not to debate who is right or wrong but to try and find solutions in times where money and ignorance blind people and hinder their ability to make the right decisions.