442) The Cove (2009) Dir: Louie Psihoyos Date Released: July 2009 Date Seen: December 12, 2009 Rating: 4/5
Louie Psihoyos's The Cove is the best kind of crowd-pleasing muckraking doc, one with a wall of information behind it and enough talking points to make even some of its most manipulative, tear-jerking moments effective. I say this as someone that enjoys eating red meat; by the time I was done watching The Cove, I felt like I learned enough on the subject of the Japanese trade in dolphin meat to understand why the two are not the same thing and why there's so much wrong with the latter practice (the political corruption and the mercury poisoning are at the top of the list but, yeah, the fact that these animals are probably smarter and more empathetic than humans gets me, too). Activist Ric O'Barry does a great job of walking us through what the Japanese are doing to these dolphins and how they're getting away with it and director Louie Psihoyos provides an abundance of context to support his claims. Scary, smart, relevant and pretty moving.