So often the symbol of new ageism, showing a concern for the welfare of the dolphin might be considered a little corny. On my way to attend the new documentary movie, The Cove, last night, this thought did enter my head, albeit fleetingly. However, irrespective of where you figure on the mysticism spectrum, it is pretty hard not to be moved by this film. Even if you hate dolphins there is something in it for you. There is action and drama as the film crew scale the cliffs of the cove to install their secret cameras in the dead of the night, there is political intrigue as the Japanese government tries to manipulate world opinion through buying votes in the International Whaling Commission (IWC), and there is corporate foul play as mercury-laden dolphin meat is passed off as whale meat in Japanese supermarkets.
My one concern is that Japanese people might be the target of racist comment as a result of the revelations in this movie. Anyone harbouring such thoughts might like to watch Fast Food Nation and Super Size Me on DVD at home after they have watched The Cove, to remind themselves that there is no national monopoly on unethical behaviour.
An interesting post script is that according to recent reports, the dolphin slaughter season did not start on September 1st this year as it is supposed to. There is speculation that this is directly attributable to the bad press this film has brought to the community of Taiji. Other reports are more skeptical, suggesting that is was just a question of ‘bad weather’ holding things up.
Image source: mylifemantra.wordpress.com