I spoke about this film a few months ago, and have finally had the opportunity to see it. The Cove, a documentary that reveals the truth behind the highly-guarded dolphin hunting industry in Japan, was even better than I imagined, despite the countless positive reviews I’d read of it. I’m planning to buy the DVD, released last week. This isn’t so I can watch it again and again–too heart-rending for repeated viewing–but so I can have it accessible to lend to anybody who has yet to see it. And I’m likely not the only one who experienced heart-palpitating shock watching The Cove. As Amazon’s Robert Horton puts it: ‘The footage . is so shocking it should cause seismic reactions in viewers.’
And since I last mentioned The Cove, its won a handful more industry awards, including ‘Best Documentary’ by the National Board of Review and LA Film Critics, and–despite some controversy–made it through the Tokyo Film Festival screening and press conference in October. It was even recently parodied by popular US TV show South Park.
There are many reviews on-line, with even more subdued ‘top critics’ using powerful language, reflecting the charged-up effect it has had on many viewers. Peter Travers of Rolling Stone for instance, described it as moving at ‘the breathless pace of a Bourne movie, but none of the comfort of fiction,’ and concluded that The Cove is ‘documentary filmmaking at its most exciting and purposeful.’ Meanwhile Colin Covert of the Minneapolis Star Tribune called the film ‘thrilling, impassioned and suspenseful as a spy caper,’ and went as far as to label it a pioneer in raising the bar for future members of its genre: ‘The Cove could launch a new sensibility for environmental documentaries.’