Save the Dolphins
Release Date: July 31, 2009
Audience: Older children to adults
Runtime: 94 minutes
Distributor: Roadside Attractions
Director: Louie Psihoyos
Executive Producer: Jim Clark
Producer: Paula DuPré Pesmen and Fisher Stevens
Writer: Mark Monroe
Address Comments To:Howard Cohen and Eric d’Arbeloff
421 South Beverly Drive, 8th Floor
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
Phone: (310) 789-4710; Fax: (310) 789-4711
The movie’s first part focuses on Ric O’Barry, the man who trained the dolphins for the extremely popular FLIPPER movies and subsequent American TV show. O’Barry now regrets his involvement with FLIPPER, because, he claims, thousands of dolphins are now abused in lucrative dolphin shows that can earn $2-3 million a year.
The documentary also focuses on Taiji, Japan, a small fishing village in Japan that not only supplies many of the dolphins for such shows, but also slaughters about 14,000 dolphins each year to sell in Japan for meat. The dolphin meat contains poisonous levels of mercury, however, the filmmakers say.
THE COVE is an extremely effective documentary that puts viewers on the edge of their seats. It shows how the fishermen in the village try to stop anybody from taking photos of the slaughter of the dolphins. The filmmakers eventually get around this by sneaking in at night and setting up secret cameras and sound equipment.
The final slaughter of the dolphins is very bloody. The fishermen’s killing methods do seem extremely cruel. In the end, however, the documentary fails to prove that the dolphins are really in danger of extinction, or that they suffer greatly in captivity. It mostly doesn’t try to address its opponents’ viewpoint, though the points about possible mercury poisoning seemingly have great validity. MOVIEGUIDE® advises caution for older children due to some strong foul language and the dolphin slaughter scene.
The Federal Drug Administration has warned citizens about eating shark, swordfish, king mackerel, tilefish, trout, and other larger, long-living fish that may accumulate mercury. We imagine that would also include eating whale and dolphin meat. Also, sushi apparently tends to contain larger amounts of mercury than other fish dishes. In contrast, shrimp, tilapia, canned light tuna, salmon, and catfish are considered okay to eat, up to 12 ounces a week, or two average meals.
THE COVE is extremely effective. It puts viewers on the edge of their seats. It shows how the fishermen in the village try to stop anybody from taking photos of the dolphin slaughter. The filmmakers get around this by sneaking in at night and setting up secret cameras and sound equipment. The final slaughter of the dolphins is very bloody to watch. MOVIEGUIDE® advises caution for older children due to strong foul language and the dolphin slaughter scene.