The Cove gets cancelled in Japan
It seems that many people in Japan can't take the truth of what is happening in Taiji and their government's views towards whale and dolphin slaughter as there are threats and protests appearing outside the distributor's offices and forced the cancelling of screenings in Tokyo, and recently a US base within Japan decided not to screen the film in case of offending anyone.
To me this seems crazy. These groups protesting are claiming that the film is anti-Japanese, something that is so far from the truth you would not believe, however it is anti-Japanese government, or rather the people who want the innocent slaughter of whales and dolphins to continue.
I watched The Cove recently and the review is about to go live - I've just realised I haven't posted it yet! - and it shocked and upset me, but it is scathing towards the view of groups within Japan who believe in the ongoing slaughter of dolphins (and I am not overplaying the use of that word, you should really see the documentary) and whales, and are actively campaigning through any means they can, including buying non-whaling countries into the International Whaling Commission to vote for them to restart whaling.
Yes, on those aspects it is very scathing, but entirely factual, detached and truthful, it's not scaremongering or against the Japanese people, but it is shocking and scary. Perhaps the thing that is the scariest about it is that if the Japanese people saw this film then the government might be forced to stop killing these animals in horrendous ways, selling highly mercury contaminated dolphin and whale meat as being good for you.
Interestingly when the documentary asks the average Japanese person on the street they had no idea about some of the practices, perhaps they really would benefit from seeing the film.
Yahoo News has the story that Unplugged, the Japanese distributor of the film, has been forced to pull the screenings in Tokyo for fears it might:
"...inconvenience movie-goers and others..."
Shame, inconvenience. Well keep hacking those dolphins to death in Taiji and eating meat from whales and dolphins that is proven to be multiple times over the acceptable mercury levels for eating. After all, wouldn't want some inconvenience at your cinemas now would we?
Good on Unplugged though, despite the threatening calls and protests to and around their offices, they are still going ahead with negotiations to show the film at twenty-three cinemas.
Takeshi Kato of the distributor said about the film:
"The Cove is absolutely not an anti-Japanese film...I believe a deep and constructive debate is needed about the content of the film."
I've seen it and I agree wholeheartedly. The film needs to be heard and the debate had.
Meanwhile Ric O'Barry, who is featured heavily in the film and campaigns heavily for the protection of dolphins, said that it wasn't fair that the Japanese people should have the right of seeing this film taken from them:
"It's not right that a small minority of extremists could take this right away from them...To do so is a clear threat to democracy."
Meanwhile the Japanese government keep harping on about this slaughter being a tradition of the Japanese people, well a "tradition" that is tens of years old hardly makes anything right or good for the people now does it?