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The Cove This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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“I do want to say that we try to do the story legally,” Ric O'Barry mentions anxiously as he checks the rear-view mirror. He's sure the police are after him from the moment he arrives in Japan. Wearing a mask and sunglasses to conceal his identity, he plans to reveal a dark secret: 360 miles from Tokyo lies Taiji, a harbor town with a tradition of dolphin hunting. Every year, over 2,000 dolphins are cruelly slaughtered in “the cove” and most Japanese are unaware. Aquarium trainers choose the most attractive ones and the rest are inhumanely murdered.

There are two reasons why people don't watch documentaries. First, they are boring. Second, they force people to ­reassess their actions. “The Cove” is sure to change your mindset on documentaries.

Louie Psihoyos has created a shockingly persuasive film. When you take aspects of a documentary and blend them with a thriller, the result is sure to get you on the edge of your seat. Once Psihoyos has recruited his “dream team,” consisting of a mold maker to construct hidden cameras and champion free divers, he sets out on an undercover mission to unveil the truth behind Taiji.

The film is extremely effective in persuading the audience. It received an Oscar in 2010. Some of the HD underwater footage of the dolphins is jaw-dropping. The fast-paced action during the pursuits is wonderfully complemented by the dramatic music. The scenes of the dolphin slaughter and the red sea are gruesome and painful to watch.

Although this film is persuasive, it is full of flaws and factual errors. While the slaughter of dolphins in Taiji is very real, much about the “hero” Ric's past and the reasons behind the slaughter are far from fact. Bias is found throughout the film and there are many scenes that crudely show ignorance of Japan and its culture. Do these flaws make the message of “The Cove” invalid? Definitely not. One of the worst animal slaughtering is taking place in Japan and action must be taken to change this situation.

“The Cove” is a must-see. This deeply disturbing film is crafted excellently and is like no other documentary you've ever seen.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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