Will 126 Million Japanese Be Denied Freedom of Speech? “The Cove” is Shaking Up Nationalists in Japan

Posted on July 6, 2010 by Stephen Kastner | No Comments

The Oscar-winning documentary film has been edited by Japanese distributor Unplugged, blurring out faces of fishermen and police, inserting tickers that express opposing points of view in parts where opinions differ.

If that’s not bad enough,  3 of the 26 theaters that planned to screen the film have backed off, canceling their scheduled screenings after threats of violence and intimidation. Japanese nationalists call the film anti-Japanese and claim that foreigners are trying to disrupt a 400-year-old tradition.

But scientists and environmental activists agree that one of the most important issue affecting the Japanese people is not about saving sea mammals. Dolphin and whale meat has been found to be very high in mercury says Tetsuya Endo, a professor at the Health Sciences University of Hokkaido and one of the world’s foremost authorities on mercury levels in dolphins and whales caught off Japan’s coastal waters. He has shown in studies conducted on hair samples taken from residents of  Taiji, Japan who eat the whale and dolphin meat sold in local stores, that they have extremely high concentrations of mercury in their bodies.

The Monday, July 5, 2010 edition of CBC’s As it Happens radio show features an interview with Ric O’Barry who had a lead role in the film and just returned from Japan. He was once the dolphin trainer on TVs “Flipper,” who has become a committed campaigner against dolphin abuse.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, July 6th, 2010 at 11:32 am and is filed under Film Reviews. You can follow any comments to this post through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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