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The Cove - Movie Review Example

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High-definition video cameras masqueraded as rocks and sound equipment are used in the film to document myriad hunting techniques…
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The Cove Movie Review
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28 May The Cove Movie Review How does The Cove frame the conflict between the documentarians and the Taiji fisherman? Think about the use of editing, sound, musical score, camera positioning, etc.
The annual hunting of a large number of dolphins at Taiji Cove in Japan is the source of conflict between the documentarians and Taiji fishermen. High-definition video cameras masqueraded as rocks and sound equipment are used in the film to document myriad hunting techniques used by the Japanese fishermen. Everything shown in the film was recorded very secretively over a course of five years. Since its release, Japanese fishermen and other critics have argued that the film is an infringement on their privacy and a breach of moral code. This is because the cameras were positioned in such a way that Taiji fisherman had no clue about their presence which is wrong concerning it was their country and they should have been given full information before recording their hunting activities by filmmakers. Also, it is argued that much of the information unveiled in the film is edited by the producers in such a way that real facts are left mutilated and twisted. Real information is not conveyed to the world, rather it is edited in a wrong way. Secret filming involving use of high-resolution cameras disguised as rocks and underwater microphones is the cause of conflict between the documentarians and Japanese fishermen. The cameras were in fact so well hidden to capture hunting footage of dolphins that the crewmen themselves had a hard time finding those cameras later. Many have argued about whether the film should even be considered a documentary or not given the fact that certain scenes look heavily staged due to the possible use of choreography.
2. Does the documentary’s dichotomy (between the crew and the fisherman) help to reduce conflict or does it inadvertently create new instances?
The portrayal of dichotomy between the crew and local fishermen in The Cove does not reduce conflict in any possible way. Rather, it has served to create new instances judging by the huge political and national upheaval caused since the film’s release. There is more anger and belligerence now than ever before for the Western media and activists in Japan. Not only they see the movie as a direct breach of their privacy, but they also consider arguments raised by the Western activists as ethnocentric. This is because they are trying to judge the Japanese culture through the lens of their self-created cultural standards. Very defiant behaviour is maintained by Japanese people towards the anti-whaling activists. The film is an effort to force Japan to curb dolphin hunting leaving no room for negotiation. This is a wrong strategy and is responsible for creating new troublesome instances like riots between Taiji fishermen and foreign activists. The Japanese people have openly objected to this film because of the fact that it attempts to promote imposition of American standards on Japanese culture. The film could have reduced conflict had it attempted to address the questions and suspicions of the Japanese out of respect for them. It should have been ensured in the film that it is not about ethnocentrism or a desire to impose American standards on Japan. Instead, the film relied on secretive filming to illegally capture footages. This is a big disappointment and has served to ignite ceaseless fury in Taiji fishermen and other Japanese people. Read More
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