In the summer of giant robots, red matter, and aliens in South Africa, one little movie has managed to do what no other has done: have an impact on the real world. The Cove is a documentary film that follows Richard O’Barry and a team of experts as they work to uncover and show to the world the extreme dolphin killings that occur in the town of Taiji, Japan, beginning every September. Well the 1st of September has come and gone, and believe it or not, the dolphin killings have stopped – all thanks to this great little thriller of a movie!

We cannot rave enough about the film. For those of you not familiar with it, it is the story of Richard O’Barry, the man who was the trainer of all the dolphins used in the Flipper TV show. Once the show was finished, he found himself questioning how dolphins were captured and used as amusement park attractions. Since then he has become an activist working for dolphins all around the world. It was then that he learned the secret of the town of Taiji.

After unsuccessfully trying to draw attention to the slaughterings, going as far as getting banned from the International Whaling Commission, he met Louie Psihoyos, the director of the film. “How can we expose this” they asked themselves. Their solution? An undercover mission that would make James Bond proud. They use fake rocks, recruited freedivers and professional photographers, snuck out thermal imaging equipment, got a few nondescript vans and 43 bags worth of equipment – all to get a peek at the restricted area where the dolphins were savagely murdered.

The film is unflinching in its depiction of the dolphin killing activities. It is difficult to watch at times, but thrilling, exciting, and wonderful at the same time. It shows us a man that has felt regret throughout his life and his struggle with how his own actions popularized the exploitation of creatures as innocent as dolphins.

The film ends with a wish that it could create enough media attention to stop dolphin killing in Taiji. Now that the killings have stopped, we hope they amend the ending when it comes out on DVD!

Habby says: Watch it!

+ The Cove
+ Urgent Update from Taiji: September 1, 2009, A Good Day for Dolphins