The Cove (Japan/USA, 2008, 90 mins.): The Cove contains everything one might expect from a first-rate thriller: tapped phone lines and covert meetings, unnamed men in stark suits offering bribes, intrepid investigators who would give Sam Spade a run for his money, a hero with a dark side and a painfully guilty conscience. What's surprising is that all these thrilling narrative components inhabit not a crime film, but an expertly conceived documentary bent on achieving an important environmentalist and ethical goal: to stop the enormously lucrative capture and slaughter of dolphins in Taiji, Japan. Although this is Louie Psihoyos's directorial debut, he's spent many years behind the camera working as a photojournalist for magazines such as National Geographic, Time, Newsweek, and The New York Times Magazine. Studded with incredibly powerful images, The Cove certainly betrays Psihoyos's photographer heritage. Psihoyos knows that sometimes all spectators need is an image—like beautifully pristine blue water turning a horrifying shade of red—to get the message loud and clear. While The Cove presents an inspiring argument against dolphin hunting and capture, as Jeannette Catsoulis of the New York Times puts it, “this is no angry enviro-rant but a living, breathing movie whose horrifying disclosures feel fully earned.” Director Louie Psihoyos, who lives in Boulder, Colorado, had agreed to attend a post-screen Q & A.. Unfortunately, once Psihoyos received his Oscar nomination (and later, win), he found his schedule would no longer permit him to attend the screening.
Note: IFS will host a single screening of The Cove at 7:00 p.m. on April 9th.
Synopsis by April Miller