“The Cove” – DVD Film Review
I finally got to see the documentary feature, “The Cove“, a film about dolphin slaughter in Taiji, Japan by Louie Psihoyos of the Oceanic Preservation Society (OPS) which features Ric O’Barry, the original dolphin trainer for the 1960s TV show, “Flipper“, that made dolphins famous and spawned a whole industry of dolphins held in captivity. The film is as much about the redemption of Ric O’Barry, as he tries to undo the influence that he helped to create from the capture and trade of dolphins as it is about the guerrilla-like efforts by the OPS to film and expose to the world the gruesome annual slaughter of tens of thousands of dolphins in Japan.
I have a personal connection to this film: Taiji, Japan happens to be where my father, Michio Kushi, was born. I have several distant relatives living in Taiji and there is even a Kushi Family temple which is home to an 800 year old statue of the Yakushi Buddha, the Buddha of Healing and Medicine. In discoverng my roots, I visited this town, stayed at the Hotel Urashima, that is featured in the film, and even visited the Taiji Whaling Museum. I don’t read Japanese and can hardly speak it and no one ever told me that they sold dolphin and whale meat there. Just as the film mentioned, I was blissfully ignorant and even believed that the town had a tremendous love and respect for these creatures.
But as the film exposes, there has been a deception going there for many years. This is an excellent film with an important message for the world and especially for the Japanese. I hope that the Japanese people wake-up and put an end to this terrible slaughter. I was happy to find out that, just recently, “The Cove” will be distributed in Japan. (See the NY Times article here: http://carpetbagger.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/02/08/the-cove-breaks-into-japan/?hp ). If the slaughter still continues after this year, then I will do what I can to prevent this from happening again.
Many thanks to the filmmakers for exposing this crime against nature and to Ric O’Barry for his tireless work. Rent this film and share it with everyone, especially any Japanese friends that you may have. Stop the dolphin slaughter in Japan!
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