Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Cove's caper story helps grim message go down

Posted By on Wed, Aug 5, 2009 at 1:15 PM

click to enlarge ON THE FLIP SIDE: Dolphins jump alongside a boat in The Cove.
  • ON THE FLIP SIDE: Dolphins jump alongside a boat in The Cove.

The year's most hateful cinematic villains aren’t the Romulans or the Decepticons, but the Japanese fishing industry. At least from the point of view of the devastating documentary The Cove. Ocean preservationists discover that a heavily guarded lagoon located in the idyllic Japanese coastal town Taiji is ground zero for the slaughter of thousands of dolphins a year.

The Cove presents a wrenching exposé of dolphin fishing for meat, as well as for star attractions at dolphinariums. Fortunately, first-time director and ocean preservationist Louie Psihoyos packages the material not solely as a save-the-dolphins tract, but also as an edge-of-your-seat caper flick that’s more gripping than any fictional thriller this year. Like last year’s Man on Wire, The Cove uses the trappings of the heist genre to recount a gripping true story while illuminating an environmental tragedy.

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(Image courtesy courtesy Oceanic Preservation Society)

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