Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Cove: A New Documentary That Exposes The Horrific Flipside of Flipper

The Cove is a new documentary that exposes the horrific flipside of Flipper. Shot in the historic town of Taiji, Japan -- which is the birthplace of modern day whaling methods -- the film follows activist Ric O'Barry in his crusade to save the 2,000+ dolphins that are captured and/or slaughtered in a remote cove there each year.

Before O'Barry became an activist, he was an unwitting beneficiary of the dolphin trade. A one-time dolphin trainer (the mammals are closely related to whales), O'Barry first made a name for himself in the 1960s working on the Flipper TV series. "I feel somewhat responsible because it was the Flipper TV series that created this multi-billion dollar industry," says O'Barry, who older and wiser is appalled at the idea of dolphins in captivity in zoos and amusement parks around the globe. He now works for the Earth Island Institute, trying to save these wondrous creatures from this fate -- and worse.

His undercover work at the cove, exposing the atrocious practices of the Japanese fishing industry, caught the attention of former National Geographic photographer Louie Psihoyos, who directed the movie about O'Barry's work at the cove. Using high-tech hidden surveillance equipment, the duo were able to capture the covert activities at the well-guarded cove, that had – up until now – been hidden from world view. Even the Japanese dolphin industry it seems is aware that it must remain concealed if it is to continue.

At the end of the film, O'Barry storms the International Whaling Commission with footage from the cove that convinces many to disengage from the corrupt organization which sets whaling quotas which are intertwined with the issue of tolerance for Japan’s dolphin trade. For O'Barry, giving interviews in support of the film is the next step towards exposing the practices of those in the dolphin trade who are happy to perpetrate unmentionable cruelty and ply mercury laden dolphin flesh that in truth is too toxic for human consumption.

Click HERE for SuicideGirls' exclusive interview with Ric O'Barry.

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