by Michael dEstries
Categories: Film/TV.

One of the common reactions from people who have seen The Cove is how the documentary is setup more like an action/adventure film. Louie Psihoyos, leader of the Ocean Preservation Society, and Richard O’Barry, a dolphin trainer and activist best known for his work on the 1960′s TV show Flipper, both set out to create a piece of work that would reach beyond the standard education doc and educate as well as entertain.

“Jesus, it’s a little bit daunting; I mean we thought we had this crossover film,” says Psihoyos in a new interview with Gothamist. “This film has action, adventure, was set up like an Ocean’s Eleven film, and at the end of the day, you know, you feel better for it. I think it’s a great date film, actually, because you want to see that hardcore guy next to you crushed, you want to see him crumble, you want to see a tear, you want to have something really interesting to talk about when you get back to his place? This is the film to do it. It makes the guys feel alright cause it’s got this action-adventure component, and for the women, it’s emotion-packed. It’s got everything. Except an audience!”

In fact, as Psihoyos says, some theaters are even starting to pull the movie due to a lack of interest. “Listen, we’re not even three weeks into it and it’s already being pulled, and some theaters where there’s an intelligent audience will hold onto it for maybe a couple more weeks, and then it will have a life on TV and DVD and maybe the award season shines on it so it’ll have some impact, but I was hoping for greater things for the movie at this stage. A year ago we were thinking, “Boy, we’re lucky to get distribution.” We overshot our mark. But you always want more, and it did feel like this is a movie that has a chance at changing the game, and redefine the way you look at a documentary.”

Obviously, one of the greatest results of this film hitting the public scene has been the delay in the annual dolphin slaughter in Japan. We say “delay” only because we suspect the Japanese will unfortunately continue the hunt once media attention surrounding the film dies down. But Psihoyos says we can all make a difference by getting people to see the movie. “The more people that see this film, the more ways it can be solved. So get other people to see it. The other thing is go to the site, and click on the action campaign. Take action. God, get involved with the environment. Get involved with your own life.”

Check out the rest of the great interview here. For a look at the spy technology used in the making of The Cove, hit the movie after the fold below.

About Michael dEstries

Michael has been blogging since 2005 on issues such as sustainability, renewable energy, philanthropy, and healthy living. He regularly contributes to a slew of publications, as well as consulting with companies looking to make an impact using the web and social media. He lives in Ithaca, NY with his family on an apple farm.

View all posts by Michael dEstries →
  • Carole

    I think people are staying away because they think they are going to see two hours of gore. That is not the case. The movie is more about what they had to go through to get this footage so that the dolphin slaughters could finally be seen around the world and the Cove would no longer be a secret. In this they were very successful! I think everyone should see this film.

  • Whoever…

    “Listen, we’re not even three weeks into it and it’s already being pulled”

    I wonder why…

    Is it ONLY because not that many people are actually going to theatres to watch it?


  • deena

    Carole that’s exactly why I haven’t been to see it. How graphic is it?

  • Cassie

    I think it’s important that people educate themselves on all kinds of issues, regardless of the fact that it could be too graphic. If you shove an issue away and pretend it’s not there, then it’s not going to get any better.

    I loved this movie, even though it made me cry at times and very angry as well. I think documentaries with important messages are hard to get audiences and enough attention these days because unfortunately people have become obsessed with entertainment. They don’t want to learn about any relevant issues, or feel emotional towards them, they’d rather pay the $9 to see special effects and a made-up storyline.

    I actually think this was one of the more entertaining documentaries I’ve seen; there were some funny moments but most importantly moments of hope and compassion. It showed the strength and power of teamwork and standing up for what you believe in. I wish more people would give it a chance and go see it.

  • Jackie

    It only played one week in Chicago and one week at the independent movie house on Cape Cod (near where I was this summer). The theaters didn’t keep it long enough for me to see it and I really wanted to (still do).

  • Luke M.

    It really is a shame that more people aren’t going to see this. It’s a very important film and a very important issue. Tell all your friends and family to go see it and to pass the word on!

  • Kayla

    It’s sad to think America will pay to watch Beverly Hills Chihuahua, but they won’t take time to educate themselves with a movie as important as this one.