Tuesday night Nellie and I went to see a Hot Docs screening that I’d been both looking forward to and dreading. The Cove (hot docs | imdb) has been on my radar since it won the audience award at Sundance and Scott Weinberg at Cinematical wrote this review. I knew any documentary about saving dolphins would be right my up alley, but this line from his review gave me pause:
“I’ve seen hundreds of horror movies in my time, and I’ve never seen anything quite as disturbing as the final sequences of The Cove.”
Here’s the thing: I don’t deal well with scenes, even staged/acted ones, of animals being hurt or killed. The video for Mogwai‘s “Hunted By A Freak”, even though it was animated, haunted me for days because it featured a crazy man dropping pets off a rooftop. So I was worried that The Cove would give me nightmares or something. But it won’t. Make no mistake, there were some incredibly disturbing scenes of violence perpetrated against dolphins in this film, and as Weinberg said the final scenes were the worst. They weren’t quite as graphic as I thought they might be based on his description, but I think my mouth dropped open at the sheer scale of the carnage. Hundreds of dolphins slaughtered at a time, more than twenty thousand a year, all in this tiny cove…and all so pointlessly.
I won’t get into it all here, I’ll just tell you to go see the film. It might not sound appealing from my description, but that’s just because I’m still a little freaked out by it. It really was a great documentary — the only 5/5 I’ve given this week — with lots of suspense, stunning underwater shots, political intrigue, interesting character stories…even a mild car chase or two. Please, go see it when it comes to theatres this summer. Or rent it. Or if you can’t do either of those things, here’s one simple way to make a difference: stop going to fucking Seaworld.