The Cove

The Cove

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

TL;DR why even vegans should hate this movie.

Reeks of colonial and orientalist undertones. While I did sympathize with (some) of the points made by the subjects, the way these points are presented was enough to make me despise the film by the end. In the film, 5 or 6 white western men (and 1 white woman), some of whom have military background, embark on an "Oceans Eleven" type mission (though it really reminded me more of a Zero Dark Thirty type mission) to unveil the horrors of dolphin hunting practices, and these horrors are aplenty. However, there are ways to make these points while accurately locating these practices within a wider global structure of capital which has a much harsher impact on animals' rights. There are ways to make these points without making it a case of the handsome white male savior of dolphins vs. the evil, angry, unintelligible Japanese fisherman. There are ways to make these points without blaming subjects of colonialism as "whorehouses."

With more nuance, intercultural conversation and context, this could be a very strong film which brings the practices of meat production to the forefront and asks the viewer to make their own nuanced judgement, not only on dolphin hunting, but meat consumption as a whole. In short, my problem with the film doesn't come from the fact that I want to kill cute dolphins, as many might suggest. Instead, it comes from the fact that by scapegoating Japanese fishermen in an orientalist and militaristic manner, the film distracts from and ultimately absolves other (Western) systems of food production which are infinitely more harmful.