Live by Night
The key question behind Live by Night isn’t so much “Why did they bother?” as “What went wrong?”
Flipper was smiling on the outside but crying on the inside. That's what Richard O'Barry thinks. He's the man who trained five dolphins for use on the "Flipper" TV show, and then began to question the way dolphins were used in captivity. In the years since, he has become an activist in the defense of captive dolphins exploited in places like Sea World.
The dolphins who are captured are luckier than the thousands harpooned to death. In a hidden cove near the Japanese coastal village of Taiji, sonar is used to confuse dolphins and lead them into a cul-de-sac where they're trapped and killed. Since their flesh has such a high concentration of mercury that it's dangerous to eat, why slaughter them? To mislabel them as whale meat, that's why. Having long ignored global attempts to protect whales from being fished to extinction, the Japanese have found dolphins easier to find. But who would eat the meat?
Japanese children, whose school lunches incredibly include mislabeled dolphin. Is it necessary to mention that dolphins are not fish, but mammals? Indeed, they're among the most intelligent of mammals and seem naturally friendly toward man. They're even tool users, employing sponges to protect their snouts in some situations, and teaching that learned behavior to their offspring.
"The Cove," a heartbreaking documentary, describes how Richard O'Barry, director Louie Psihoyos and a team of adventurers penetrated the tight security around the Taiji cove and obtained forbidden footage of the mass slaughter of dolphins. Divers were used to sneak cameras into the secret area; the cameras, designed by Industrial Light and Magic, were hidden inside fake rocks that blended with the landscape.