The Cove, Louise Psihoyos' unforgiving documentary exposing the cruel, abusive nature of Japan's whaling/fishing culture and industry, was set to screen last week at Yokota Air Base not far from Tokyo. However, under pressure from the U.S. government to, as Psihoyos puts it, "make nice" with the Japanese, the Air Force base shut down the screening. The event would have marked one of the few times The Cove has been publicly shown in Japan.

Rather than let the theatrical ban stop his crusade, Psihoyos did the only logical thing he could. He sent 100 free copies of The Cove DVD to people on the base so they can see it and help spread the word! I don't know how many people the theater at Yokota Air Base seats, but I'm going to go out on a limb and evoke the principal of "and if they each show two people, and those two people show two people, and those two people..." to deduce that this ban won't exactly squelch exposure to the film. It's also not the last time The Cove is set to play in the land of the rising sun.

Surprisingly, a bold Japan-based distributor called Unplugged has picked up the film and is planning on releasing it in theaters this June. They've already begun receiving outraged protesters at their offices demanding the film not be shown. It hasn't had the desired effect on the studio, which means the protesters, a group comprised mainly of Japanese nationalists, will turn their ire on the actual theaters. Unfortunately that is likely to be a more effective route, but only time will tell if the message of The Cove ever penetrates Japan's movie theaters.
categories Movies, Cinematical