The Cove

The Cove

DVD - 2009
Average Rating:
Rate this:
In a sleepy lagoon off the coast of Japan is a highly guarded secret. During the night, Taiji fishermen engage in an unseen hunt for thousands of dolphins. Their work is so horrifying, a few desperate men will stop at nothing to keep it hidden from the outside world. When a team of elite activists, filmmakers, and free-divers embark on a secret mission to penetrate the cover, the shocking discoveries they find there are just the tip of the iceberg. Includes commentary, deleted scenes, and more.
Publisher: [United States] : Roadside Attractions, [2009]
Branch Call Number: 364.16 AV DVD COV
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (96 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Aug 05, 2018

this is one of the most powerful films I've seen in some time. The callousness of the Japanese not just toward the animals but their lack of conscious in regards to not just the people of Japan, but the children is sociopathic. They are slaves to money and lack the ability for insight that would lead them in a sane direction. Just astounding.

Dec 08, 2015

While documentaries usually aspire to some sort of objectivity, there has been a rise in what might be called activist docs, which explore a wide range of topics, including global warming, the economic crisis, and 9/11, with the goal of persuading their audience. "The Cove" is unapologetically polemical and even with its flaws (the Japanese are not portrayed pretty well, it doesn't really connect to larger animal rights issues), it's an undeniably powerful and disturbing film. The man who trained the dolphins for the show "Flipper" has become an advocate (and sometime criminal) for freeing and protecting dolphins. He discovers a Japanese fishing village where dolphins are routinely captured or slaughtered for their meet and sets out to expose it. There are some shocking scenes of dolphins being killed, so don't watch this with small children. This is a good companion piece to "Blackfish," which takes aim at the whales kept by Seaworld.

Quimeras Sep 27, 2015

I found incredible the bureaucracy and the justifications that allow for the inhumane treatment of dolphins. But just as amazing are the measures that activists are willing to take in order to save these creatures. This is a good documentary. I recommend it.

(For "teedypawz") WAZA has suspended their relationship with Taiji until the drive hunts stop, including Japan (finally). So it is now clear that the end of slaughter and capture for captivity in Taiji will come in the near future. For more information on this issue, Please go on
Sea Shepherd Operation Infinite Patience
Cove Guardians.

P.S., Alll whales and Dolphins are more intelligent that people. No questions asked!

teddypawz May 11, 2015

This was a very eye opening documentary. My question is what has been done, if anything since this was taken in 2009?

Apr 22, 2015

There can be no doubt that a biased, "finger-pointing" documentary of this one's one-sided nature would spark all sorts of heated controversy, and angry backlash, and legitimate speculation regarding the motives of its producers.

Deciding who is deemed right and who is deemed wrong in this particular instance, where man (once again being the supreme ruler of this planet) makes a significant impact on the survival of all other creatures (big, small, cute, or ugly that roam the Earth), depending on his own self-centred decisions and practises, is a difficult one, indeed.

I do not deny that the actions of the Japanese fishermen in the rounding up and the slaughtering of the dolphins (in a secluded cove near the town of Taiji, Japan) is quite shocking to behold.... And, believe me, I don't condone what they are doing.....

But, have you ever had the eye-opening experience of visiting a slaughterhouse where cattle are butchered, non-stop, day after day, year after year? - Just so that we can have a steak with our "gravy'n'potatoes" dinner? Believe me, it's a gruesome scene that'll shock you into speechlessness, and, maybe, even turn you into a total vegan.

Yes. You can easily argue that the slaughtering of cows for human consumption is "OK" 'cause, let's face it, cows are ugly and stupid. But, on the other hand, dolphins are, beyond a doubt, absolutely brilliant creatures who are very self-aware. And, yes, they are cute, too!!

All-in-all - The Cove, in its essence, is a very valuable and important portrayal of just one isolated element of animal cruelty. And one must keep it firmly in mind that Japan is not any worse than any other country in this matter.

Personally, I found this documentary's glowing hero and dolphin-savior. Ric O'Barry, to be something of an unreasonable fanatic whose direct involvement in exposing what goes on at Taiji's secluded cove to be somewhat insincere and, yes, even dubious in nature.

It seemed obvious to me that this documentary was the work of a very biased group of people who clearly refused to give the other guys their fair chance to state their case and rightfully defend their actions.

(*Spoiler Alert!*).... And, finally - Since O'Barry had the movie-effects wizards, "Industrial Light & Magic", on his team, I'm almost convinced (beyond a shadow of a doubt) that the gruesome scene showing the water turned blood-red following the dolphin slaughter at the cove was actually a cleverly doctored image which was presented as O'Barry's trump card.

This scene's impact was clearly meant to manipulate the easily-swayed emotions of the viewing public. And, to be sure, its results were very-very effective, indeed.

P.S. - I am very surprised that this hypocritical and decidedly biased documentary won an Oscar for being the best of its category in 2009.

Chatos Feb 21, 2015

Found this movie so disturbing at times that I found myself cursing those greedy b@stards who are involved in the killing of whales and dolphins. These are beautiful animals who should not be treated in this savage manner. Using them for entertainment is one thing...but killing them for food is another. To top it off their meat is toxic to the consumer. I feel for a lot of the population in Japan who are consuming this toxic meat and don't even know it...especially felt bad for all those school children. The movie is very informative, though...hopefully, one day this will stop!

NewYorkViews Nov 30, 2014

Sad documentary about the dolphin trainer and creator of the popular USA "Flipper" TV series of the past, having realized that dolphins are abused in captivity and that the popular TV series "Flipper" helped investors build sea worlds around the world, including Japan where the current abuse is recorded on video. This is a film about "The road to hell being paved with good intentions," and a PETA sort of angle. Sad commentary about humans finding entertainment in the hidden, or not so hidden abuse of animals.

Oct 16, 2014

Eye-opening documentary about little-known dolphin hunting that goes on in Japan.
Amazing to think that some Japanese do not know about what is going on.
Sad this footage exists, even more sad it is a practice carried out every year.

Jun 16, 2014

Informative, intriguing and interesting.

View All Comments


Add a Quote

Never wait for governments to solve these problems. Governments don't solve problems, they cause them. and not once has one been solved by any government. All problems are solved by the Passion Of Individuals. Always has been, and always will be"

Captain Paul Watson, Founder of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and Co-Founder of Greenpeace

"If The Oceans die, then we die. there is simply no life on this planet with a dead ocean"

by: Captain Paul Watson, Captain of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and
Co-Founder of Greenpeace

spoonb3rri Aug 12, 2012

If you aren't an activist you're an inactivist


Add a Summary

I have watched first hand what happens there in Taiji. I went there as a Sea Shepherd "Cove Guardian" and documented every slaughter, capture, and
"Blue Cove Days" (when no dolphins are slaughtered, or captured for captivity) For more information on this, PLEASE go on Thank You!

spoonb3rri Aug 12, 2012

The Cove is a 2009 documentary film that analyzes and questions Japan's dolphin hunting culture. It was awarded the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature in 2010


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at ELPL

To Top