Friday, January 14, 2011
What an amazing piece of work. A group of activists, filmmakers and freedivers try to uncover the secrets of the small Japanese town Taiji, where each year for six months nearly 23,000 dolphins and porpoises are murdered. Murder is a strong, visual word, but in this documentary it is certainly all that I see.
Fishermen gorge the dolphins with hooks, knives attached to poles, they tie the dolphins by thick rope to boats and drag them across the water in this particular bay. First, they tap on poles in the water to disturb the dolphin communication, and then after local and nearby dolphin trainers take the "pick of the litter" (the desired and trainable dolphins), the others are herded around a corner and to their death.
They even separate the baby dolphins from their parents. And in the end all die.
I don't mean to be melodramatic, but I will never again look at these Sea Worlds and other entertainment areas in the same light. Ever. In fact, this is exactly the kind of work I would like to get into, the kind of journalism I would be proud to be associated with.
Kudos for Ric O'Barry and the others for what they've done and for shedding light on this. For shame to Japan who continues to hide and even ignore the cruelty that continues.