I’m no activist, but I always find seeing dock fulls of culled sea animals or impotently flailing sharks as they sink to the bottom of the sea, their fins cut off for a meager bowl of soup, a little unsettling. At the same time, I’m usually turned off by the shrill tunnel visioned and radical conservationists who do ram boats, who do destroy property and who seem to exude more self-obsession that’s usually mistaken for passion of cause…which is why I (and most) usually stay away from activist films.
Still. If there’s one way to sell an activist documentary, it’s the way The Cove does it. Instead of framing it up as “Save the dolphins” (with Hayden Panettierre!), The Cove is framed as a secret mission to unveil a horrible truth. The trailer is pretty intriguing, even if you can still figure out what the whole reveal will be. If anything, watch it to see Hayden looking sad, wet and defeated on a surfboard in some nameless Japanese bay.
Well reviewed at this year’s Sundance, The Cove opens in select markets (it’s a documentary, after all) July 31.