In a sleepy lagoon off the coast of Japan was once a shocking secret. A secret that a few desperate men made sure would be no longer kept hidden from the world: thousands of dolphins were, and still are, being captured and sold to many of the worlds theme parks. Those who dont make the cut are horrifically tortured and slaughtered-their mercury-laden meat sold under the guise of being “acceptable” flesh for consumption to an unsuspecting Japanese public. Its a real life horror story-one that is now well and truly public.
The Los Angeles Film Festival opens tomorrow (June 18) in Westwood Village, and is set to screen five green and environmentally-themed films, No Impact Man, The Cove, Big River Man, The Last Beekeeper; and Bananas!
No Impact Man documents environmentalist Colin Beavan who embarks on a green living experiment by attempting to have as little negative environmental impact as possible for a year-including: no takeout, no taxis, and no toilet paper.
The Cove centers around Richard OBarry, dolphin trainer for televisions beloved Flipper, and photographer turned filmmaker Louie Psihoyos. The pair lead the audience on a suspenseful voyage of discovery in this activist documentary. OBarry has long been convinced of the cruelty of domesticating these highly intelligent animals and feels responsibility for the growth of an economy of sea parks and swim-along programs.
Big River Man, tells the story of an out-of-shape-beer-drinking Slovenian man and his journey swimming the Amazon River.
The Last Beekeeper takes a close look at the struggles of three American beekeepers as they deal with the devastating effects of economic and ecological change when a mysterious illness among bees threatens insects and businesses.
Bananas! is a documentary revealing the human cost of banana cultivation by chronicling the case of Nicaraguan laborers, represented by L.A. attorney Juan Dominguez, against the companies who they believe poisoned them. Between the films completion and its screening at this years Festival, critical new elements of the case have come to light. What happens when a story continues to evolve after the shooting stops? This case study and screening will explore the relationship between documentary filmmaking, objective and subjective point of view, as well as the rights and responsibilities of activist filmmaking.
For further information on these films and to purchase tickets, head to the Los Angeles Film Festival website.
Stay tuned for reviews on The Green Dove.
In an attempt to reduce the suffering endured by animals used for tourist entertainment, the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) has launched a new website, CompassionateTravel.org, which educates travelers on ways to make their trips animal-friendly.
“Many people may be aware that thousands of bulls are killed and maimed each year during bullfights, but most do not realize that donkeys, horses and elephants are sometimes forced to carry tourists for hours without food or water or that performing animals are often trained using cruel techniques,” says Dena Jones, WSPA’s U.S. programs director.