It appears that Japan will finally get its chance to see The Cove.
The dolphin-slaughter documentary had originally been rejected from showing at the Tokyo International Film Festival, but due to mounting international pressure has now been given the green light.
The chairman for TIFF, Tatsumi “Tom” Yoda, denied that the decision to reinstate the film was due to any outside pressure — but you have to imagine the heat being generated by worldwide (and even national) media has been making him sweat. Yoda instead insisted that The Cove was given a second look due to, “great interest in the film from around the world.” Uh huh. As TIFF doesn’t even have a documentary category, we’re thinking the outcry generated by activists and supporters of the movie was enough to make it happen. The Hollywood Reporter even noted that the press event for the TIFF lineup announcement was packed more tightly than usual due to the controversy surrounding the movie.
Of course, as film festivals can only accommodate so many people — it will be interesting to see how well the movie is received to then make it into Japan’s movie theaters. If enough people see first-hand what’s happening in their own backyards, we may witness even greater change across the board for the more than 20,000 dolphins killed annually in Japan. Stay tuned.