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The Cove (2009) - Plot Summary Poster

(2009)

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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 two from Japan forever. O'Barry, Psihoyos and their team covertly try to film as a document of conclusive evidence this cruel behavior. They employ among others Hollywood cameramen and deep sea free divers. They also highlight what is considered the dangerous consumption of dolphin meat (due to its high concentration of mercury) which is often sold not as dolphin meat, and the Japanese government's methodical buying off of poorer third world nations for their support of Japan's whaling industry, that support most specifically at the International Whaling Commission.

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  • In Taiji, Japan, local fishermen hide a gruesome secret: the capture and slaughter of dolphins. Activist Richard O'Barry, who trained dolphins for the Flipper (1964) TV series, joins forces with filmmaker Louie Psihoyos and the Ocean Preservation Society to expose the brutal practice, risking life and limb in the process.

  • 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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Synopsis

  • In a sleepy lagoon off the coast of Japan lies a shocking secret that a few desperate men will stop at nothing to keep hidden from the world. In Taiji, Japan, former dolphin trainer Ric O'Barry has come to set things right after a long search for redemption. In the 1960s, it was O'Barry who captured and trained the 5 dolphins who played the title character in the international television sensation "Flipper." One fateful day, a heartbroken Barry came to realize that these deeply sensitive, highly intelligent and self-aware creatures must never be subjected to human captivity again. This mission has brought him to Taiji, a town that appears to be devoted to the wonders and mysteries of the sleek, playful dolphins and whales that swim off their coast. But in a remote, glistening cove, surrounded by barbed wire and "Keep Out" signs, lies a dark reality. It is here, under cover of night, that the fishermen of Taiji, driven by a multi-billion dollar dolphin entertainment industry and an underhanded market for mercury-tainted dolphin meat, engage in an unseen hunt. The nature of what they do is so chilling and the consequences are so dangerous to human health that they will go to great lengths to halt anyone from seeing it. [D-Man2010]

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    In a sleepy lagoon off the coast of Japan lies a shocking secret that a few desperate men will stop at nothing to keep hidden from the world. At last, the truth of THE COVE comes to the fore in an act of covert filmmaking that turns a documentary into a gripping action-adventure thriller . . . and a heart-pounding call for help from the worlds oceans. THE COVE begins in Taiji, Japan, where former dolphin trainer Ric OBarry has come to set things right after a long search for redemption. In the 1960s, it was OBarry who captured and trained the 5 dolphins who played the title character in the international television sensation Flipper. But his close relationship with those dolphins the very dolphins who sparked a global fascination with trained sea mammals that continues to this day -- led OBarry to a radical change of heart. One fateful day, a heartbroken Barry came to realize that these deeply sensitive, highly intelligent and self-aware creatures so beautifully adapted to life in the open ocean must never be subjected to human captivity again. This mission has brought him to Taiji, a town that appears to be devoted to the wonders and mysteries of the sleek, playful dolphins and whales that swim off their coast. But in a remote, glistening cove, surrounded by barbed wire and Keep Out signs, lies a dark reality. It is here, under cover of night, that the fishermen of Taiji, driven by a multi-billion dollar dolphin entertainment industry and an underhanded market for mercury-tainted dolphin meat, engage in an unseen hunt. The nature of what they do is so chilling -- and the consequences are so dangerous to human health -- they will go to great lengths to halt anyone from seeing it. Undeterred, OBarry joins forces with filmmaker Louis Psihoyos and the Ocean Preservation Society to get to the truth of whats really going on in the cove and why it matters to everyone in the world. With the local Chief of Police hot on their trail and strong-arm fishermen keeping tabs on them, they will recruit an Oceans Eleven-style team of underwater sound and camera experts, special effects artists, marine explorers, adrenaline junkies and world-class free divers who will carry out an undercover operation to photograph the off-limits cove, while playing a cloak-and-dagger game with those who would have them jailed. The result is a provocative mix of investigative journalism, eco-adventure and arresting imagery that adds up to an urgent plea for hope. THE COVE is directed by Louie Psihoyos and produced by Paula DuPre Pesmen and Fisher Stevens. The film is written by Mark Monroe. The executive producer is Jim Clark and the co-producer is Olivia Ahnemann. -ericdarb

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