Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Cove

The Cove is an engrossing documentary that sets itself apart by adding real-life edge-of-your-seat suspense to the typical interviews and narrated facts to which documentary viewers are accustomed. It is essentially about one man's desire to right his past wrongs, and the way he's trying to do it is by making the world a safer place for dolphins. In particular, there is a shallow sea inlet in a remote part of Japan where, we are told, thousands and thousands of dolphins are cruelly trapped and brutally killed annually.

Like us, you'll probably have to rent this one if you want to see it; it doesn't seem to be playing on any big screens anywhere around. But that's okay. What makes the film so compelling is the actual footage of slaughter that is shown toward the end--but that's also a reason why we're glad we saw it on a small TV screen and not in a theater.

Of course, this is a documentary made by self-proclaimed environmentalists who are simply sharing their point of view. It doesn't try to be an objective assessment. But if you've ever dreamed of being a marine biologist, or swam with dolphins, or been to Sea World, it's worth taking 90 minutes out of a day to watch. There's even contact information at the end, just in case you want to support the cause.

Brooke: B-
Grant: B
(This film will likely win this year's documentary Oscar. It already won the Broadcast Film Critics Association award, and several others).

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