Animal Lovers Should Prepare to Bring a Few Extra Hankies Along When They See The Cove

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Tagline: "There it is, the little town with a very big secret."

Translation: Now that Hayden Panettiere knows about it, it won't be a secret for long.

The Verdict: Director Louie Psihoyos’s documentary about dolphin trainer turned activist Ric O’Barry, The Cove, was widely lauded as one of the most riveting films at this year's Sundance Film Festival, where it garnered a prestigious Audience Award. O'Barry made his name in the sixties as a technical adviser on the set of Flipper, which not only introduced the world to the majesty of dolphins, but also kick-started an infatuation with the species that would ultimately become a multi-million-dollar industry. However, this documentary's focus is on a covert operation to expose a small town in Japan where rogue fisherman routinely and savagely murder dolphins. As New York's own Bilge Ebiri described it in a pull quote that ended up in this trailer, the film is "passionate, exciting, and frightening ... the footage is staggering."

EARLIER: The Cove’s Richard O’Barry on Secret Dolphin Slaughter — and Flipper’s Suicide
If You See Only One Documentary About Terrible Dolphin Murder This Year... [Videogum]