– . – Japan Officials Speak Out Against The Cove


Japan Officials Speak Out Against The Cove

Source: Variety

One of the big winners at Sunday’s Academy Awards Ceremony was hard-hitting film The Cove, which won Best Documentary. The film, which focuses on the annual slaughter of thousands of dolphins in the western Japanese port of Taiji, has gathered critical acclaim and universal plaudits – but, unsurprisingly, the mayor of Taiji is not among its fans.

“The film has mistakes of fact,” mayor Kazutaka Sangen told local press. “I’m surprised that it won the award even though its content is not truthful.” And, although the film is being released in Japan later this year, Sangen was adamant that audiences would not respond well to it. “[Theatres] with common sense will call off screenings. We intend as a town to tell the truth about the dolphin fishery, both domestically and internationally.”

And Yoshinobu Nisaku, the governor of Wakayama Prefecture in which Taiji is located, also weighed in on the argument, saying “Criticizing this business, which has been contributing to the livelihood of Taiji for a long time, with incorrect information and one-sided value judgments, is not the way of a gentleman.”

Katsutoshi Mihara, chairman of the Taiji town council, added, “The Academy Award will be a perfect platform for them (the filmmakers) to trumpet their views, while earning them money in various ways. But nothing will change for us.”

But, with an Oscar now added to director Louie Psihoyos’s bulging awards cabinet – which already includes the audience award from the Sundance Film Festival, trophies from both the Writers and Directors Guilds, the National Board of Review prize and one from the Los Angeles Film Critics – it’s clear that the film’s message is striking a chord with audiences across the globe. And, as anyone who has seen the The Cove knows all too well, it’s a message that’s pretty hard to ignore.