A well deserved congratulations to The Cove for being awarded the Best Documentary Oscar at Sunday night's Academy Awards presentation! If you have not seen this film about the brutal harvesting of dolphins and whales in the Japanese village of Taiji and the subsequent distribution of polluted meat to an unsuspecting Japanese public, you can now purchase the DVD (here's a link to Amazon.com).
All of the films nominated in the Best Documentary category are important films and worth seeing. The contenders focused on critical social issues - human rights, abuse, immigration. And all of these challenges deserve our attention. What made The Cove perhaps a bit special was that it combined both a conservation issue (the particularly brutal harvest of marine mammals) with a human issue (the indifference of the Japanese fishermen, the ignorance of the local villagers to the hazard they are exposing themselves to, and resistance from the Japanese government to do anything about it). Add to that the drama experienced by the film crew in secretly filming the harvest, and you have a film that stands out as both education and entertainment with the hope that viewers will be motivated to do something about an ecological and human health tragedy.
Perhaps winning the award will provide The Cove with a little extra clout with the Japanese government, but there are plenty of forces currently at work to prevent the film from getting its message out to those who need to hear it the most - the Japanese people. The producers have several online vehicles (web site, Facebook page & cause, blog, etc.) that you can visit to learn what you can do to help them get more exposure to a people who, unfortunately, have such a long heritage of dependence involving seafood. The Cove needs all the help it can get.