Last night The Cove, the controversial film about the practice of dolphin hunting in the Japanese town of Taiji, took home the Academy Award for Best Documentary.
Said producer Louie Psihoyos while accepting the award: "I just want to say it was an honor to work on this film and to try make an entertaining film that also tries to enlighten everybody. I have to thank Jim Clark who financed the film and who was also kind of the guiding wisdom behind the film, Paula DuPre Presman, my producing partner, and my hero, Rick O'Barry, who is not only a hero to this species but to all species."
During the acceptance speech, Rick O'Barry hoisted up a sign encouraging viewers to text the word "DOLPHIN" to 44144 to sign a petition to stop the slaughter of dolphins.
Now that The Cove has won an Oscar, it could mean the film will be shown in Japan, where it has thus far not been widely distributed.
Check out a clip from the film, and our reviewer Carolyn Merino Mullin's thoughts on this award-winning documentary.
Being the Miami native that I am, I'm humbled to observe wild dolphins a few times a week on my walk to work. Looming in the background of the cityscape, however, is the Miami Seaquarium, the institution that made former Flipper dolphin trainer Ric O'Barry who he is today: a headstrong, emblazoned voice against marine animal parks like SeaWorld (who's all for setting Tilikum free?) and the capture of small cetaceans near the infamous cove of Taijii, Japan. Rounding up 26,000 dolphins a year, Taijii fishermen will sell a few Bottlenose to the entertainment world -- to the tune of $150,000 each -- and slaughter the rest of the "catch," turning the ocean red with blood. More than a documentary, O'Barry and his cohorts created a call to action to end the needless and deadly (dolphin meat contains toxic levels of mercury) dolphin massacre. Although stark in its message, the film is also magnetic: stunning imagery is infused throughout the narrative and the covert mission to recover audio, visuals and evidence for it makes this a highly charged and engaging tale. Grab a box of tissues.
Enter your city or zip code to get your local temperature and air quality and find local green food and recycling resources near you.