Using state-of-the-art equipment, a group of activists, led by renowned dolphin trainer Ric O'Barry, infiltrate a cove near Taijii, Japan to expose both a shocking instance of animal abuse and a serious threat to human health.
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Richard O'Barry was the man who captured and trained the dolphins for the television show Flipper (1964). O'Barry's view of cetaceans in captivity changed from that experience when as the last straw he saw that one of the dolphins playing Flipper - her name being Kathy - basically committed suicide in his arms because of the stress of being in captivity. Since that time, he has become one of the leading advocates against cetaceans in captivity and for the preservation of cetaceans in the wild. O'Barry and filmmaker 'Louie Psihoyos (I)' go about trying to expose one of what they see as the most cruel acts against wild dolphins in the world in Taiji, Japan, where dolphins are routinely corralled, either to be sold alive to aquariums and marine parks, or slaughtered for meat. The primary secluded cove where this activity is taking place is heavily guarded. O'Barry and Psihoyos are well known as enemies by the authorities in Taiji, the authorities who will use whatever tactic to expel the... Written by
People Concerned for the Ocean, a local Taiji activist group, distributed DVDs in March of 2011 of the film, dubbed in Japanese, to all 3,500 residents of Taiji. See more »
The thing that turned me around was the death of Flipper, of Cathy. She was really depressed. I could feel it. I could see it. And she committed suicide in my arms. That's a very strong word, suicide. But you have to understand dolphins and other whales are not automatic air breathers, like we are. Every breath they take is a conscious effort. And so they can end their life whenever life becomes too unbearable by not taking the next breath. And it's in that context I use the word suicide. She ...
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After the end credits there is a humorous scene involving the team's Whale Blimp and local police. See more »
Western countries' attempt to close down the Japanese whale harvest is somewhat comparable to a restaurant patron's demand to close the restaurant after he ate his fill so that no other patron may eat.
The dolphin harvest was not unknown to the Western countries such as Norway, Iceland or Danmark. They too used to drive dolphins to a cove and slaughter them, well into 1960's. British and American whalers decimated the whale population in the Pacific and the Atlanticto virtual extinction. South Georgia Island, a British possession in the southern Atlantic, used to be a practical killing field for whales (and seals). The very reason International Whaling Commission came into being was the belated bad conscience of those countries.
Let there be no mistake--I am no lover of Japan. However, there indeed is an element of hypocrisy in criticizing the Japanese practice. Why didn't the film crews of the Cove first go to South Georgia island and Nantucket and erect some memorial to the hundreds of millions of whales massacred only until a few decades ago?
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