Taiji Update And the Oscar goes to THE COVE, one year later
(07.03.2010) What had happened since then? One year ago, on the 7th of march 2010, THE COVE won the Academy Award as the best documentary. Previous to that evening, the movie, revealing in a relentless and exciting way the Japanese dolphin hunt, won every award you can achieve with a documentary during film festivals.
But in Japan, the movie couldn't achieve much approval. The Japanese press criticized the movie itself and the fact that it achieved an Academy Award. The film distributors who released THE COVE in Japanese cinemas were attacked by ultra-nationalists as were the cinemas who wanted to show the film. As a result, many of them decided not to show it.
These results were not expected by the nationalists and things went quiet about the movie and it literally disappeared from the screens. However, the noise made by ultra-nationalists on the streets of Tokyo unleashed a debate about the freedom of press and opinion in Japan, which is in a bad shape. More and more citizens of Japan are taking notice of major corporations and bribed members of the parliament enslaving publishers and dictating which media has to publish and in which way. And more and more the citizens of Japan they want to conceive an opinion of their own. Therefore, more than a few urged to be able to watch THE COVE and make their own mind up.
At the end, the nationalists became very quiet because they did not want to draw even more attention to the movie. And the movie became a success in several Japanese cinemas. That's one accomplishment of this cinematic masterpiece, which has been available on DVD in Japan for two weeks now - with alot of promotion before the release of the DVD. In addition to that, there is a synchronized and uncensored version available for download.
It's without a doubt the movie resulted in the decreased demand for dolphin meat. Well informed sources are talking about a total decrease of about 30 per cent in comparison to last year. The reason for that is mainly that most of the people are now aware of the high level of mercury the meat is containing. Moreover, the younger generation doesn‚t want to consume dolphin flesh.
Therefore the decrease in animals killed in this season's hunt is not a great surprise and it allows us to be a bit optimistic. About 900 dolphins were killed during this hunting season, which ended a few weeks ago; in comparison to last year's season where about 1,700 dolphins were slaughtered. To make it short: Yes, the movie, the Academy Award, the worldwide publicity, the book and the pressure from outside haven't failed to have the desired effect.
But that leaves the question about what comes next. Does it need more and steady pressure? Or would more pressure lead to acts of defiance and to a hardening of the situation, ie. that they will hunt the dolphins more than ever? The only thing for sure is, that it would be fatal to give up now and to look away from what's going on. It's now time to look forward to a future without a dolphin hunt in Japan. And to pursue that goal with all reasonable efforts.