National

Japanese pro-whaling documentary to be screened at U.S. film festival

Kyodo

A documentary introducing the voices of Japanese people who support whaling and dolphin hunting will be screened at a U.S. film festival in October, its director said Thursday.

“Behind the Cove — The Quiet Japanese Speak Out!” will be screened on Oct. 1 during the Glendale International Film Festival in California, Keiko Yagi said.

“It’s encouraging that my film has been accepted by a film festival in the state of California, which is keen on protecting animal rights,” she said. “Japanese tend to think that foreigners are all anti-whaling, but there might be a larger-than-expected number of Americans who can understand” the stance of the pro-whaling camp.

The 105-minute Japanese and English bilingual movie is touted as a “counter” documentary to the Oscar-winning U.S. film “The Cove,” which thrust the Japanese whaling town of Taiji into the international spotlight with bloody scenes of its annual dolphin hunt.

“Behind the Cove” is also scheduled to be shown for a week at movie theaters in New York and Beverly Hills later this year. In New York, the film will be screened from Nov. 25 in the Cinema Village and it will be shown from Dec. 2 at the Music Hall in Beverly Hills.

The documentary has also been chosen as an official selection for a film festival in the Czech Republic. Ekofilm, an international film festival about the environment, is scheduled to screen the Japanese film on Oct. 14, according to Yagi.

The 2015 film is “purely about animal discrimination, as to why it is OK to kill cows and pigs but not OK to kill whales and dolphins,” she told an interview with Kyodo News in February.

The film festival runs Sept. 28 through Oct. 5.