Essay On The Cove Documentary Free

The Cove Analysis Essay example

1445 WordsOct 31st, 20126 Pages

The Cove: Analysis of Rhetorical and Cinematic Strategies The general reason for a documentary is to put forth factual information while attempting to convince the viewing audience of a specific point of view. The film crew behind ‘The Cove’ does this in a way that is informative and accurate, while presenting the information in a manner that allows the viewer to draw their own opinions. ‘The Cove’ follows famous Dolphin Trainer-turned-activist Ric O’Barrey into the dangerous land of Taiji, Japan, where dolphin genocide is occurring. The ‘dolphin trade’ that is taking place kills thousands of dolphins every year. While those behind the dolphin-capture and trade suggest that it is a Japanese tradition to murder dolphins for food and other…show more content…

Another moment when pathos is instated occurs when Ric emotionally recounts the personal story of the well-known and loved Flipper committing suicide in his arms. Not only does this invoke a sense of emotion in the viewer but it automatically puts us on Ric’s side, as he fights against anyone trying to harm them. The most conspicuous use of pathos is when we actually witness film of the dolphins being treated terribly and coldheartedly murdered by the Japanese dolphin traders. The image of innocent sea creatures being killed, grabbed, and run over by boats instantly lurches the viewing audience into distress, which is the reaction set out to attain by the film makers. The second rhetorical strategy used in this film is logos, or the appeal based on logic or reason ( The film makers present us with this method throughout the movie when statistics about the dolphins are projected on a black screen. This gives viewers straight information that seems unbiased and factual, in a sense that no images or scenes interact with the information given. Logos is also used when Ric is explaining to the viewer that dolphin’s have high levels of mercury. He makes the connection that if the Japanese people knew how high the mercury levels were, they would stop eating them. Also, many people are scammed into eating dolphin while assuming a purchase of another animal. So, the fact

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SUBJECTS — The Environment;
SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL LEARNING — Caring for Animals; Breaking Out;

Ages: 11+; MPAA Rating: PG-13; Documentary; 2009; 92 minutes; Available from It is also available free on the Internet.

Description: This is the 2010 Academy Award winning documentary exposing the annual dolphin hunt that occurs at a cove in Taiji, Japan. Dolphins are herded into the cove and trapped there by nets. Some are selected for transfer to dolphinariums throughout the world to be trained to entertain crowds of people. The remainder are slaughtered for their meat. Set up as a thriller, the movie follows the film crew as it tries to evade obstructions set in place by the Taiji fisherman and the government of Japan to stop them from filming the capture and slaughter.

Rationale for Using the Movie: This film is an exposé of cruel treatment of a very intelligent ocean-living mammal. When shown with the lessons provided in this Learning Guide, the film provides opportunities for learning on several additional levels.

Objectives/Student Outcomes Using this Learning Guide: Students will learn about the "enslavement" (see discussion question #1) and slaughter of dolphins at a cove in Taiji Japan and become acquainted with the ethical issues surrounding the practice. Discussion questions allow teachers to take most secondary school classes to college level discussions about philosophy and ethics. The worksheet suggested with this Guide will introduce students to the process of evaluating a documentary designed to persuade on an issue of public importance.

Possible Problems: None. While the pictures are not gory (the example shown below is about as bad as it gets), some students may become upset at the way the dolphins are killed. But isn't that the point?

Dolphin "harvest" at the Taiji cove

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