Dolphin- hunting movie The Cove to show in Japan

Japanese theatres will start showing The Cove, an Oscar-winning film about a dolphin-hunting village in Japan, next month despite pressure from nationalist groups who say the film is anti-Japanese.

TOKYO — Japanese theatres will start showing The Cove, an Oscar-winning film about a dolphin-hunting village in Japan, next month despite pressure from nationalist groups who say the film is anti-Japanese.

The domestic distributor, Unplugged, said Monday that six theatres around the country will start showing the movie July 3, with 16 more to screen it later.

Initial screenings of the film at three other theatres were cancelled after protests by nationalist groups. Those theatres still have no plans to show The Cove, which shows bloody scenes of a dolphin slaughter filmed by hidden cameras and portrays local fishermen as rough goons.

The cancellations prompted a group of Japanese journalists, academics and film directors to sign a letter urging the theatres not to back down, saying the issue “underlines the weakness of freedom of speech in Japan.”

Nationalist groups, known for blasting slogans from truck convoys and handheld loudspeakers, often use the threat of protests as leverage.

Two years ago, angry phone calls led several theatres to cancel showings of Yasukuni, a movie about a Japanese war shrine that honours fallen soldiers, including executed military leaders convicted as war criminals.

The film, which stars Ric O’Barry, a former trainer for the Flipper TV show, was banned on a U.S. military base in Japan as too controversial. It won the Oscar for best documentary.

In Taiji, the small village where the hunt occurs, the local government and fishing co-operative defend dolphin hunting as a local custom with a long history.

The mostly bottlenose dolphins killed in the hunt are not endangered, and hunts are also carried out in other parts of Japan — although very few Japanese have ever eaten dolphin meat.

In the version of The Cove intended for release in Japan, disclaimers have been added saying those interviewed in the movie are not protesting or supporting dolphin issues.

Unlike the U.S. version, the faces of most Japanese are blurred out.

A message on the Japanese version states that data presented in the movie were gathered by and are the responsibility of the film’s creators. The movie cites information about mercury levels in dolphins and falsely labeled dolphin meat that has been challenged by government officials.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

AstraZeneca vaccine is ready to be used at a homeless shelter in Romford, east London, Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Frank Augstein
AstraZeneca-linked blood clot confirmed in Alberta

A case of an AstraZeneca-linked blood clot has been confirmed in Alberta,… Continue reading

The Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools Board of Trustees selected the name St. Lorenzo Ruiz Middle School to be built in the north end of Red Deer. (Photo Courtesy of  Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools)
Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools raises about $8,720 for Terry Fox Foundation

Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools raised about $8,720 for the Terry Fox… Continue reading

A nurse gets a swab ready at a temporary COVID-19 test clinic in Montreal, on Friday, May 15, 2020. Health Canada has reversed course on home test kits for COVID-19, saying it will now review applications for such devices. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Alberta declines Ontario’s request to send health-care workers

Alberta is “not in a position” to send health-care workers out of… Continue reading

The Red Deer Rebels allowed four straight goals from the Medicine Hat Tigers Friday night on the road. (Photo by Rob Wallator/ Red Deer Rebels)
Tigers hand Red Deer Rebels 10th straight loss

Tigers 4 Rebels 2 Through 17 games in the shortened WHL season,… Continue reading

Meghan Huizing has been selected by Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools as a finalist for the Alberta School Boards Association (ASBA) 2021 Edwin Parr Award. (Photo courtesy of Red Deer Regional Catholic Schools)
Red Deer Catholic names finalist for Edwin Parr Award

Meghan Huizing from St. Gregory the Great Catholic School in Blackfalds has… Continue reading

Red Deer Public Schools will not pilot the new draft curriculum at its elementary schools. (File photo contributed by Red Deer Public Schools)
UPDATED: Red Deer Public Schools says no to piloting new curriculum

Alberta Teachers’ Association support school boards

Brad Dahr, 53, is facing numerous charges. (Photo contributed by Alberta RCMP)
Alberta man charged for alleged sexual offences against children

An Edmonton man has been charged for alleged sexual offences against children… Continue reading

A person walks past a COVID-19 mural designed by artist Emily May Rose on a rainy day during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Monday, April 12, 2021. Employment lawyers say flouting COVID-19 public health orders when off the job or coming into work while knowingly sick could warrant discipline in the workplace. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Risky pandemic behaviour off the clock could mean workplace discipline: lawyers

CALGARY — Employment lawyers say flouting COVID-19 public health orders when off… Continue reading

Vials containing Russia's Sputnik V vaccine for COVID-19 are seen at the San Marino State Hospital, in San Marino, Friday, April 9, 2021.  THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Antonio Calanni
China, Russia using their COVID-19 vaccines to gain political influence

OTTAWA — China and Russia have been using their locally produced COVID-19… Continue reading

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a press conference in Ottawa Tuesday, March 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau announces donation to Duke of Edinburgh’s award ahead of funeral

Canada will donate $200,000 to the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award as… Continue reading

Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry (Science) Will Amos responds to a question during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Friday, Dec. 11, 2020. The Liberal MP who inadvertently flashed his parliamentary colleagues says the fact that a screenshot of him in the nude was leaked to the media sends a troubling message about the corrosive state of politics in Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle
Canada’s naked MP speaks out: leaked photo sends message ‘anything goes’ in politics

OTTAWA — The Liberal MP who inadvertently flashed his parliamentary colleagues says… Continue reading

In this file photo, a lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018. (By THE CANADIAN PRESS)
No winning ticket for Friday night’s $10 million Lotto Max jackpot

TORONTO — No winning ticket was sold for the $10 million jackpot… Continue reading

Opinion
Opinion: Canada’s self-esteem needs Trump

Well, it was fun while it lasted. For four years, with Donald… Continue reading

Harley Hay
Harley Hay: Shenanigans on the links

It must be something about my Scottish heritage but I seem to… Continue reading

Most Read