…Man.The Cove is a gripping documentary, but "hard to watch" doesn't begin.It's hard to watch Ric O'Barry, who worked as the dolphin trainer on Flipper, trying to atone for his part in the culture's continuing capture of dolphins for entertainment.It's hard to watch free diver Mandy-Rae Cruikshank weeping, talking about the dolphins at the killing cove seeming to call to her for help.It's hard to watch the baby dolphins at the killing cove, period. Teeny; jumping; doomed; horrible.
It's hard to watch the last 15 minutes, very hard. If I'd seen the film in a theater, I'd have fled; it's devastating.
The deck is an easy one to stack — who doesn't love dolphins, their smiley faces, their bubble-voiced chatter, the tricks they do? Siding with the movie is a no-brainer, but then the filmmakers didn't just film.They put together a strike force and tried to do something about the slaughter and the cover-up, Ocean's 11-style — midnight ops, cameras hidden in fake rocks, the whole bit. It's a touching movie, but also exciting and fun…when it's not so heart-wrenching that you run for the nearest pet and hug it until it squeaks.
If you think you can't take it, you can always buy a t-shirt to support the cause, or reconsider that vacay to the seaquarium — but give it a try. It's the best doc I've seen in the category to date.
Death Race 38, Sarah 20; 6 out of 24 categories completed
Tags: Mandy-Rae Cruikshank movies Oscars 2010 Death Race Ric O'Barry snif!