Analysis Of The Documentary Film The Cove

The Cove is an observatory-style documentary that follows a crew of anti-whaling activists in a bid to shut down the slaughters of innocent dolphins in a small town called Taiji in Japan. An observatory style documentary contains interviews, voice-over narration and a soundtrack, and instead present footage of real life as it unfolds. The style of documentary tends to show, not tell, and offers each viewer to draw their own conclusions from the film. The Director, Louie Psihoyos has been known for his nature documentaries and has become increasingly concerned with bringing attention to underwater life, with fears that too much attention could prove harmful, for example, he said that he visited the same spot two years in a row to go fishing and it was evident the drop in quality of the habitats for the animals. The documentary highlights the Taiji fishermen that are hiding a gruesome secret away from the public eyes. He is positioning the audience to feel sympathetic towards the dolphins and side with the activists. They are trying to provide insights into the illegal actions being committed by the Taiji Fisherman.

The Cove follows a linear configuration, meaning it has a rising tension, climax and a resolution. This configuration builds tension throughout the film as the team sneaks into the cove, that is barricaded in a bid by the illegal workers to keep their operations under cover, after many previous efforts to seek answers from the capturers. At the beginning of the documentary there are montages of archival clips of Ric dealing with dolphins for his TV show called “Flipper”. This man is now on a mission to stop dolphins in captivity for he believes he is responsible for dolphins being held in captivity.

Interviews are firsthand accounts of professionals, which adds credibility. These are used to prove a point and provide facts. Other researchers/activists that can relate to the issue and add their input into the debate. For example, the interview by Louie Psihoyos, Co-Founder, Oceanic Prevention Society. Ric O’Barry said that he was taken off the list of guests’ speakers as he was trying to spread awareness about the slaughtered in Taiji, which shows that SeaWorld and other organisations didn’t want him to provide light onto the topic. The inclusion of a voice over allows a filmmaker to provide information to the audience in a way that is easy to understand. Documentaries often use a voice over to provide the viewer with relevant information through the film's soundtrack. Montages link actions with words and are often used in documentaries. A different positioning of shots conveys different ideas to the viewer.

Sound is important because it can tell us about character, place, and time. It's important because it informs us and moves us in ways visuals can't, and because certain combinations of sound and visuals can evoke what neither can do alone. It's also potentially important because it can help to determine what we see. It can also evoke emotion in the viewers through different clips. For example, when the dolphins are swimming out in the open waters there is cheerful sounds, but when they get captured there is sombre tunes as well as screeching sounds caused by the dolphins in distress while they are being brutally slaughtered and murdered through inhumane actions by the cruel whalers.

The camera follows action that is beyond the control of the filmmaker. In the documentary, they use many handheld/POV camera shots which puts the viewers in the.

The purpose of The Cove is to provide insights into the tragic circumstances in which dolphins are being farmed in Japan. The cameras follow Ric O’Barry and his crew as he tries to make right what he caused many years ago. Although Ric O’Barry has started a page to spread awareness about the slaughtering that are occurring in Taiji, it is our responsibility to help him to stop the cruelty towards the innocent dolphins. 

16 August 2021
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