The Cove Film Analysis

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The Cove (Louie Psihoyos, 2009) is a documentary, which follows activist Ric O’Barry and The Ocean Preservation Society to expose the brutal dolphin slaughter in Taiji, Japan. The film constructs a sense of realism through naturalistic aesthetic codes and conventions. These conventions relate to the texts content, style, form and audience response and reception. The Cove employs these four levels of realism to construct a sense of authenticity and to position the audience into understanding a negative point of view portrayed about the dolphin slaughter in Taiji. The convention of content in the documentary concerns the implementation of true events, as well as the casting of real people. The style of The Cove focuses on the manipulation of…show more content…
Ensuring that the cast of a documentary are real people and not actors is also a technique that The Cove incorporates to create a sense of realism. The entire cast of The Cove are established activists who were well known prior to the film for the work they have contributed towards marine protection in organizations such as ‘The Ocean Preservation Society’ and ‘The Sea Sheppard Conservation Society’. Short clips of Ric O’Barry’s history with Flipper the dolphin, and news clips concerning his several arrests were displayed various times during the documentary. Moreover, the featuring of established politicians such as Japan’s International Whaling Commission (IWC) delegate, Joji Morishita and Japan 's Fisheries Agency Hideki Moronuki, assists in visually showing the audience that the cast and featured people are not actors, and have been working in their current field for years. These codes and conventions of naturalistic aesthetics concerning content, constructs a sense of realism due to the information and footage presented being filmed from ‘the real world’.

Style is a level of realism, which concerns the revealing of screen and media technologies, naturalistic use of lighting and evidence of the production process through codes and conventions to convey a sense of legitimacy. Conventions concerning realism through the use of natural light, direct address
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