Photo by Just Taken Pics via Flickr CC
After a lot of struggling, from earning money for translation of The Cove into Japanese to facing protesters and having the film pulled from screenings at movie houses in Japan, the Oscar-winning documentary is finally playing in the country upon which it is based. The Cove had its first screenings in six small theaters in Japan on Saturday. Directed by Louie Psihoyos, the film is a tense action-film-like documentary on the brutal killing of dolphins in Taiji, Japan, one of many areas of the country where dolphins and whales are killed for their meat, though some of the traumatized animals are hand-chosen to be hauled off to theme parks and swim-with-the-dolphin programs across the globe. The film had a tremendous impact on audiences, scoring an Oscar win as well as even halting last year's hunt in Taiji for several weeks.
After facing protests in Japan and having the film pulled from screenings earlier this year, The Cove finally made it to viewing audiences this past weekend.
The New York Times writes, "Aside from police officers ending a few altercations between supporters of the film and angry nationalists, the protests proved to be no deterrent for moviegoers. 'I didn't know about dolphin hunting,' Tomokazu Toshinai said as he entered a theater. 'Whether it's TV or movies, Japanese have a right to know these things.'
"A theater in Nagoya said that it would show The Cove along with Whalers and the Sea, a documentary sympathetic to the Japanese whaling industry. Another 18 theaters plan to screen The Cove later this year."
Here is Psihoyos as he responds to the protesting that happened a couple months ago:
The Cove is now set to be a series on Animal Planet.
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More on The Cove Documentary
World-renowned Filmmaker Louie Psihoyos Fights Dolphin Slaughter in "The Cove"
Chatting with Fisher Stevens, Producer of Film "The Cove"