THE COVE has been labelled as both documentary and thriller, and is one of those rare documentaries to break out and make international headlines. Made in Hollywood style, the film doesn’t only portray a group of sea mammal activists, but is itself a vehicle for the same cause: to shut down the dolphin hunt of the Japanese town of Taiji. The Taiji hunt is not a pretty view on camera. By using sonar sounds, great herds of dolphins are driven into a narrow cove which is then shut off. Marine Theme Parks pick out their favourites, which are transported out to be trained for shows. The rest of the dolphins are slaughtered from small boats with knives and harpoons.
THE COVE received the Academy Award for best documentary feature, but has also been accused of being not only biased but outright propaganda. Since its release, a few other films have tried to nuance the picture of Taiji, one of which is A WHALE OF A TALE, also presented at the festival.