The Cove, a documentary about a dolphin slaughter in Japan, was a difficult movie.

On the one hand, it's a testament to the power of film. The footage obtained is powerful. Powerful enough to actually stop the slaughter. And it's shot like a Dirty Dozen mission or Ocean's 11 heist, which makes for an interesting movie.

But on the other hand, I am extremely wary of documentaries that have a particular cause. And this movie is a good example. Take it's use of Paul Watson as a "talking head", a man I generally think has crossed the line past activism into criminality. I only recognized him because I've heard him speak, but it made me much more wary about the other talking heads in the movie.

The other problem with the movie stems from a larger issue I have. … I feel like it's only the cute animals that ever get to be "saved" … pandas, whales, dolphins, etc. Not that they sometimes don't need to be saved, but my hunch is that if people are collectively giving millions and millions of dollars to save cute animals, the non-cute and non-sexy causes are getting passed over. Non-sexy but important causes like protecting coral reefs, which are under threat from a myriad of human activities and which support a huge range of biodiversity (cute and non-cute species alike!) It would be great if we were trying to "save the reefs" the same people give money to "save the rain forests."

Sorry. That was a rant. But you know my preference now: giving that supports ecosystems as opposed to individual species within them.

The Cove
left the Grand today, but I'm sure it will be on DVD soon. Here's the trailer.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sw5qgVp0jng?wmode=transparent]