The story in the documentary “The Cove” had a very strong and heartfelt story. It touches on how there are more dolphin’s killed during dolphin hunting season than there are whales killed in the Antarctic. The dolphins are lured into a cove in the National Park at Taiji, Wakayama and killed by dolphin hunters by spears over the side of their boats and nets. This documentary fell under the category of a social documentary in my eyes. The anti-dolphin hunters are trying to make the people of Japan aware of the dolphin traps and raise awareness for the matter at hand.
I would say there was a strong beginning and middle to the documentary, but the ending wasn’t as strong as I would have liked. Even though it was a documentary trying to raise awareness for the subject, I thought it was going to have a happier ending where it explained that the dolphin hunters were banded from the cove, but it went on to explain that the hunters are still killing and will resume hunting every September until something is done about it. It really encourages you to help the situation in any way possible.
The main characters were the anti-dolphin hunters and the dolphin hunters, where the protagonists were the anti-dolphin hunters and the antagonist were the dolphin hunters. The film is in dolphin trainer, Ric O’Barry’s point of view. It follows him around as he captures footage of the events taking place at the National Park. He tells stories of his dolphin training career and states facts substantial to the events taking place. He makes it evident to the people of Japan what is going on in the waters at the cove which is “off limits” to the public. The director captures amazing shots in this film.
I especially thought the shot of the water completely filled with blood held a very strong meaning. It really touches on how intense the situation actually is. Another thing I really enjoyed about what the director captured was the amount children that were affected from the Mercury in the dolphin meat. The pace of the film was neither slow nor fast, I thought it captured the right amount of footage and every clip and interview was necessary in the completion of the documentary. The editor did a great job of rolling interviews audio into b-roll footage.
There were many different types of shots that were used in the film. Medium close up’s were used during interviews, while the extreme long shots (establishing shots) were used when trying to relay the message of what was going on in the cove. The close up’s of the dolphins were done very tastefully, yet still got the point across of how they are affected by the hunters. I believe the music they used in the film was original; it was nothing that was neither distracting from the subject nor inappropriate for what was being discussed at the time.
There were many cameras used to capture everything in this film. There were hidden cameras set up in rocks in the cove to cover footage of the dolphin attacks, and there were also cameras used during the interviewing and establishing shots. The lighting used was available light, which actually turned out to work in the favor of the filmmakers. I liked how the footage they have from the cove is very gloomy, it looks as if they shot it on a day with overcast and little rain. It completely changes the mood of the film.
If it were a sunnier day with direct sunlight they would not have been able to capture what they really needed to. Overall, I really enjoyed this film, and it made me never want to eat dolphin in my life. It is extremely sad to see what is going on in Japan and even sadder to see that the people of Japan have no clue it is going on. Dolphins are amazing creatures and should not be killed for food that is hurting the people of Japan. I hope that awareness on this subject raises and the necessary actions are taken to prevent the hunts each September.