The people of Taiji, a small town of 4000 on the Japanese Pacific coast, have made their living from whale and dolphin hunting for centuries. One morning in 2009, they woke up to a new reality: their practice of dolphin drive hunting had become the subject of a documentary film called THE COVE. While their hometown turned into a battleground for international anti-whaling activists, THE COVE (also featured at TIFF 2018) went on to win an Academy Award, forwarding the film’s explicit goal of putting an end to these hunting methods.
A WHALE OF A TALE allows local whalers, politicians and bureaucrats to weigh in, offering a more balanced view of the situation. Meanwhile, the global community has stakes in the questions raised here: Is tradition a sufficient argument to sustain a practice that world opinion perceives as morally reprehensible? And finally: Who has the authority to make the call?
Introduction at screening on Tuesday. Introduction and Q&A at screening on Wednesday.