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Academy Award-winning documentary to screen

RELEASED: Sept. 15, 2010

The Cove imageEAU CLAIRE — "The Cove" (2009), winner of the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature, will screen Sept. 23-26 at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. The film will be presented at 6 and 8:30 p.m. in Davies Theatre.

"The Cove" is an eco-thriller that follows an elite team of activists, filmmakers and divers as they embark on a covert mission to expose a shocking crime against nature. The film begins in Taiji, Japan, where former dolphin trainer Richard O'Barry has come to set things right. In the 1960s, it was O'Barry who captured and trained the dolphins that played the title character in the television show "Flipper." Regretting his role in popularizing the image of captive dolphins, O'Barry came to discover a terrifying secret in the secluded Japanese cove, where thousands of the animals are hunted for meat and underhanded dealing to the entertainment industry.

Using state-of-the-art techniques — including recording equipment concealed in fake rocks designed by Industrial Light and Magic — "The Cove" documents how O'Barry, director Louie Psihoyos and a crack team of adventurers penetrated the tight security around the Taiji cove, a microcosm of massive ecological crimes. The documentary exposes the slaughter of more than 20,000 dolphins and porpoises off the coast of Japan every year. It reveals that their meat — containing toxic levels of mercury — is sold as food in Japan and other parts of Asia, often labeled as whale meat. The film's provocative mix of investigative journalism, eco-adventure and arresting imagery has inspired audiences worldwide to action.

The New York Times called the film "an exceptionally well-made documentary that unfolds like a spy thriller, complete with bugged hotel rooms, clandestine derring-do and mysterious men in gray flannel suits. Those men — perhaps cops, perhaps worse — tail Mr. Psihoyos and his crew unrelentingly, determined to prevent anyone from filming the enormously lucrative dolphin capture and slaughter that support the town's economy and employ its fishermen."

"There are many documentaries angry about the human destruction of the planetary peace. This is one of the very best," wrote Roger Ebert.

Presented by the University Activities Commission of the Student Senate, the 92-minute film is rated PG-13.

Admission is free at the door with a Blugold Card or International Film Society membership. Community members who wish to attend campus films must purchase an annual IFS membership at the Service Center (715-836-3727) in Davies Center's east lobby. An individual membership costs $4; a family membership costs $10.

More information about the campus film series is available online and at the Activities and Programs office, Davies Center 133.

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JS/DW

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