The Cove at TIFF, as told by the Director - Continued

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Japanese press conference went well. There were lots of interesting questions, which I welcomed, but my jet-lagged brain started to fog a bit after the one-on-one interviews later on. David Kubiak, an expat who speaks fluent Japanese, was a star translator and hopefully put my thoughts into the mother tongue with a bit more polish. He saved the toughest journalists for last. He smiled through a fixed grin as he sat them down, "They're not the friendlies."

"What scientific proof do you have that dolphins are intelligent?"

I answered: “By whose standards? Yours? A butterfly's? Dolphins have a bigger brain than yours, and you can't do anything well that they can do. I'm sure they must feel pity for us in when we're in their environment. They've managed to live on the earth for 50 million more years than us with bigger brains and without jeopardizing the whole planet like we have in just a few decades. I'm glad they don't have the power to ask, “what good are humans?” because it's scientific proof that we're destroying the planet. Dolphins are the only wild animal to save the life of humans, and the only way we can save them now is to prove we've made their environment so toxic that they are poison and should not be eaten." Dave, will that translate?

Michael Bailey was there on the ground in Tokyo working with us too. He was an eco-activist when Greenpeace was just a few people in a room. I turned on CNN and saw a long piece on The Cove screening in Tokyo: long lines waiting to get in, teams of news crews thrown off the property, reporter saying that although it's the most talked about film at the festival there isn't a single poster to be found anywhere. It was brave of the festival to take on the film, partly because it is an environmentally friendly festival (they have a green carpet instead of a red carpet). Funny world we're in, I thought as I turned off CNN, but it's the only one we have.

I made it through Japanese customs, about to head back to America. I can't thank all of you enough for helping us get up to this epic screening, they're boarding my plane now, and somewhere below me in the Pacific there will be several hundred dolphins now running free because of your efforts. Now let's go save the rest of them.

For the wild,