The Cove documentary works to give logistical evidence against the corrupt practices in Taiji. The background information on what occurs in Taiji that the public isn’t aware of, is explored and explained much further as the film progresses. It is argued that little action has been taken by government programs to stop the slaughter of dolphins.
The documentary does this by introducing Rick O’Barry’s perspective and his continuous struggle, up to this point in his life, to fight the government from continuing the mass slaughtering of dolphins. The corruption of the government is then expounded on by the team Louie Psihoyos puts together to expose the real truth.
The theme that the documentary addresses is one of a call to action to halt mass dolphin killing, change Japanese fishing practices, and to inform as well as educate the public about the risks and increasing hazard of mercury poisoning within dolphin meat. Proof of the detrimental effects of dolphin captivity paired with the unexplained claims made by the Taiji government regarding the need of such extreme amounts of slaughter shows the audience what is occurring in Taiji. The documentary establishes a form of legitimacy with the audience by briefly explaining the goal and history of the Oceanic Preservation Society, as well as including world famous ocean and marine activists like O’Barry. The amount of experience that O’Barry has with activism is truly a staple of the films credibility because the director relies on him to provide much of the narration.
Louie Psihoyos blends the elements of narration and video together in a way that solidifies the films effectiveness even further. Video clips of the slaughter location, perpetrators, and slaughter itself were often played with one or more activists narrating in a stark tone which created the feeling that almost every sentence was a call to action. The tension of the plot within the documentary is extended almost until the last minutes of the viewer watching. The viewer is made to feel immersed within the plight of the activists so that they are on the edge of their seat hoping that things turn out well for the rest of the team. By splicing footage and narration together, the messages the film conveys are strengthened causing the documentary to resonate with the audience and leaves them feeling connected to every member on the team.
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