There are numerous non-profits in the Boulder area. Many of them are doing some pretty amazing things to help our city, state and world go greener.
One of those organizations is the Oceanic Preservation Society. You might have heard of their recent movie “The Cove.” It won an Academy Award.
Another group, Educate!, is working to revamp the educational system in Uganda.
The list goes on and on.
As we learn about the world, we are better able to help it.
Earth Day–April 22–is a great time to start.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT…
In addition to the recent news development from the “Cove” team busting a restaurant serving illegal whale meat, here are some tidbits of “Cove” coverage from the aftermath of that film’s big Oscar win in the documentary category.
Plenty has been said about Ric O’Barry’s unfurling of a banner reading “TEXT DOLPHIN to 44144,” by folks like Mother Jones, Treehugger, the Huffington Post, Ellen DeGeneres, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer (which gave the acceptance speech an award for “Fastest cutaway”), Louie Psihoyos:
Still, Mr. Psihoyos said, “it’s hard to get all huffy about that stuff. It’s like spilled milk.”
and O’Barry himself:
“I had butterflies in my stomach. I wanted to throw up on my shoes. But I knew that one billion people were watching, and I had to do it.”
Here’s what Psihoyos says he would have said, if not cut off:
The mayor of Taiji — the city that reluctantly starred in the film — responded to the film’s win by saying that “The Cove” was unreasonable:
In a statement reported by The Associated Press, the office of the mayor of Taiji defended the village’s practices and said “The Cove” contained statements that were not based on science. “There are different food traditions within Japan and around the world,” the statement said. “It is important to respect and understand regional food cultures, which are based on traditions with long histories.”
Fresh off his whirlwind tour of accolades for his movie “The Cove” — which now includes an Oscar for best documentary — Boulder’s Louie Psihoyos is already busting up the next ocean injustice.
Psihoyos and his band of Ocean activists helped authorities sting a sushi restaurant in Santa Monica that was illegally selling whale-meat sushi.
With video cameras and tiny microphones, the team behind Sunday’s Oscar-winning documentary film “The Cove” orchestrated a Hollywood-meets-Greenpeace-style covert operation to ferret out what the authorities say is illegal whale meat at one of this town’s most highly regarded sushi destinations.
Their work, undertaken in large part here last week as the filmmakers gathered for the Academy Awards ceremony, was coordinated with law enforcement officials, who said Monday that they were likely to bring charges against the restaurant, the Hump, for violating federal laws against selling marine mammals.
The whale meat, as it turns out, is from the Sei whale, which are endangered but still sometimes hunted in the North Pacific under a controversial Japanese science program.
Just because “The Cove,” which got an Academy Award nomination Tuesday for best documentary film, is now the talk of Hollywood (and New York, and Park City, Utah, and everywhere else in between) doesn’t mean that the film’s director, Louie Psihoyos, plans to take his new-found fame and leave provincial Boulder (relatively speaking, of course) behind.
No, Psihoyos loves it here. (And what better place for the executive director of the Oceanic Preservation Society to live?)
“We made this film in my backyard,” Psihoyos told the Daily Camera. “And now, the last couple weeks, we’ve been rubbing shoulders with George Clooney and Meryl Streep … the Hollywood glitterati. Now we’re part of the discussion.”
And he plans to reap that attention from the film to sow more bad-ass ocean movies that tackle environmental travesties. Money for those films, one of which he started on last week, has seemed a little less hard to come by, he said. And Psihoyos doesn’t even have to do the pitching anymore if he doesn’t want to. He’s already been approached by Animal Planet to film a show for them.
With all the new work, Psihoyos said he may have to start a production company to handle the demand. But if he does, you can count on it being in Boulder, which, he says, is essential for giving movies that authentic feel. (Even ocean movies, because…. ummmm… Boulder is halfway between the Pacific and Atlantic so neither could accuse Psihoyos of being biased.)
“Hollywood is craving authentic, creative content from the hinterlands,” he told the Daily Camera. “That’s why the film was resonating with people. And that’s why Sarah Siegel-Magness’ film is resonating.
“It doesn’t matter if you have a New York or an L.A. zip code, you can make films anywhere –especially in Colorado.”
“The Cove,” the documentary film director by Boulder’s own Louie Psihoyos, just added a line to its C.V. and it might get one more. In the long list — really long list — of Oscar nominations this year, “The Cove” got a bid for best documentary feature.
The film follows a team of photographers and videographers bent on documenting a massive dolphin kill in Japan. Psihoyos says that while some progress has been made, the kill continues.
Other nominees in the category are “Food, Inc.,” “The Most Dangerous Man in America,” and “Which Way Home.”
One more “Cove” update for you –
Ric O’Barry of the Save Japan Dolphins Coalition — and more famously, part of the crew of the film “The Cove” and trainer of the original “Flipper” dolphin-actors — blogs that although Sept. 1 is the usual start of the dolphin slaughter in Taiji, there’s nothing going on today.
Yes, today was a good day for dolphins. Tomorrow, I will take journalists with me around town to show them Taiji. Tomorrow, too, I predict will be a good day for dolphins. Every day that we are here and the fishermen KNOW we are here, will likely mean no boats going out to round up dolphins for the killing Cove.
It’s been a while since Boulder photographer/director Louie Psihoyos’ documentary “The Cove” made a splash at Sundance and then later made its way to wider audiences with its national release (you know something’s up when Mother Jones reviews your movie).
So what effect does a striking documentary have? Psihoyos recently blogged at HuffPost Green that “The Cove” was responsible for a diplomatic slap on the wrist — apparently the people of Broome, Australia have decided they can no longer be a sister city to Taiji, Japan, the setting for the film.
To this day, the Taiji mayor continues to allow over a thousand tons of dolphin meat to be sold throughout Japan under the guise of “scientific whale” meat. The Japanese government continues to position its argument for killing dolphins as a cultural issue and insist that we, as outsiders, should respect their tradition. But this is no tradition — the dolphin drive has only been going on since 1933. The tradition argument falls apart when human lives and health are severely threatened, and people must take a stand.
September 1st is coming up, the beginning of the yearly dolphin hunt in Taiji. With a little more pressure, we can put an end to a sad chapter in human history and create a new one where we have respect for the environment and other humans.
Between “The Cove” and “Whale Wars,” Boulder County’s got some pretty good representation in the whole save-the-sea-mammals film industry. Ward native John Mans was director of photography for “Whale Wars.”