Friday, December 3, 2010

"Professor in 'The Cove' sues film firms, claiming editing was arbitrary"

More about The Cove from today's Japan Today:

A professor who appeared in the Oscar-winning U.S. documentary "The Cove" about dolphin hunting in Japan has filed a lawsuit against a film right holder and distributor, claiming that his comments were edited arbitrarily and his reputation was thereby damaged.

The first hearing of the case filed by Tetsuya Endo, associate professor of the Health Sciences University of Hokkaido, was held at the Tokyo District Court.

Endo is also seeking a total of 11 million yen in compensation from Medallion Media Co, a Tokyo-based company that holds the film rights in Japan, and the distributor, Tokyo-based Unplugged Inc, and demanding that the scenes in which he appears be removed.

“The Cove,” which shows dolphin hunting in Taiji, Wakayama Prefecture, partly with hidden cameras, won the 2010 Academy Award for best documentary.

According to the complaint by Endo, he was introduced by a fellow researcher abroad to the director of the film, Louie Psihoyos, and asked by him in February 2007 to appear in his documentary concerning mercury contamination of marine life.

Endo claimed the director interviewed him without explaining at all about his intention to criticize dolphin hunting based on particular ideas and values.

"The film is extremely subjective and unscientific," the associate professor stated, adding the director’s act "destroys the credibility of a scientist who is noted for his objectivity."

In reference to the scene in which Endo was holding in his hand the meat of a dolphin from Taiji, he argued that the director arbitrarily inserted into the scene a caption saying mercury was detected in the meat, even though he was explaining about another dolphin.

The director, who is a photographer and founder of a marine life conservation group, alleges in the film that a large quantity of mercury is contained in dolphin meat.

Medallion said that an official in charge was not available, while Unplugged responded that it will refrain from making comments while the case is proceeding.

Read the story and reader comments at Japan Today:

1 comment:

R. A. Stern said...

The current 'standard' of documentary film has a lot to be desired in terms of ethical representation. This unfortunately, I feel, often applies to the big names such as The Discovery Channel and National Geographic as well.