Author Archives: ergouziwgx

Save Dolphins, Save Taiji’s Future

The documentary, The Cove, was directed by Louie Psihoyos in 2009 received the best documentary award of the 82th Oskar Filmfest incontrovertibly because of the true story and gripping plot. The Cove, which technically, is not a documentary, but more looks like an advertising movie, because there are too many director’s personal emotions in this film, presents the slaughter of dolphins in a small town named Taiji in Japan. The film, while the saving actions of Rick O’Barry as the main point throughout the whole movie, uncovers dirty deals about dolphins in the cove step by step. Every September, the fishermen living in Taiji kill a mass of dolphins. Based on what the fishermen said in the film, the killing is not for money. “It’s about the pest control.” Thanks to the fishing effort has been decreasing own to the dolphins are eating too much fish, the government told the fishermen to kill the dolphins and protect the fishing for human beings.

People love the dolphin’s smile

People love the dolphin’s smile

In this scene, the dolphins are watching the children around and smiling, while the children are touching the dolphins and taking photos with them. In the aquarium, when the dolphins jump out of water, the audiences cheer and scream for the performers. When the audiences enjoy themselves in the dolphins’ show, ironically the applause is the dolphins’ tragedy. To be honest, this scene is familiar to me, because I used to be one of the audiences, sitting in the crowd, feeling the smile of the dolphins and enjoying the show. However, when the dolphins complete the prescriptive movements and get food as reward, do they really feel happy as we think? The documentary gives us the answer, is “NO”. Like what Rick says, “A dolphin’s smile is nature’s greatest deception.” If audiences see on dolphin acting, it means that thousands of them have been killed. Only the limited numbers of dolphins can survive while most of them get killed for not being chosen for performance in the aquarium by the trainers. The survival ones will be sent to the aquarium and get trained. The left majority will be killed in the beautiful cove by fishermen. The meat of dolphins will be sent to the markets.

Fisherman dives into the bloodstained water.

Fisherman dives into the bloodstained water.

The cove is beautiful and peaceful, but for the dolphins, it is the worst nightmare. The sea water that should be clean blue, suddenly becomes the bloody red. If the film was not made by a true story and frames, I could even believe what I was watching. How much blood could dye the clean blue into this grisly red?  When the fishermen dive into the bloodstained water, how does that feel? The principal reason that the fishermen killing the dolphins is not for making money, but, based on what they said, due to the pest control. They were told by the government that the fishing effort has been decreasing own to the dolphins are eating too much fish. Therefore dolphins are considered as pest.  Everyone knows the decreasing of fishing effort owing to the overfishing of human beings, which caused the chain reaction of ocean resource. It is not that the dolphins grab human being’s food, but the greed of human being affects the subsistence of other ocean creatures.

No matter how, the excuse that the fishermen in Taiji use to massacre the dolphins is unacceptable. The slaughter destroyed the balance of the marine ecological environment. Even worse, because dolphins are living in the polluted ocean, there are many kinds of heavy metal chemical elements stored in dolphin’s body, especially mercury. However, the government of Taiji provides the local schools with the luncheon meat made from the polluted dolphins, which means the government are poisoning the town.

Rick shows the dolphin’s tragedy to the pedestrians.

Rick shows the dolphin’s tragedy to the pedestrians.

In the final scene of the film, Rick is standing on the street of Japan and showing the dolphin’s tragedy to the pedestrians. Eventually, more and more people gather around him, and more and more people care about the dolphin’s fate. After all, the future of dolphins depends on the attitude of the youth generation. Meanwhile, the future of Taiji depends on the attitude how the government and fishermen want to deal with dolphins. Now, the slaughter of dolphins keeps going every year in September. When people decide to save the dolphins lives, actually they are saving the people who eat polluted dolphin’s meat. If the slaughter could not be controlled, the Minamata disaster might appear again.

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Literary Analysis of “The Factory Ship”

A factory ship is a floating plant that processes crabs and assembles several small boats for hunting crabs. The Factory Ship was written by Kobayshi Takiji and published in 1929. It describes the plight of unemployed laborers, impoverished farmers, and poverty-stricken students who are hired by the factory ship and engaged in the burdensome crab-hunting job for a long period. The crew becomes reduced to objects when the conditions worsen and food is used to stress their transformation. Eventually, they can no longer bear the abuse from the superintendent, Asakawa, so they bind together and rebel against the leaders of the ship.

In the story, the principal way food is used to dramatize the horrible working conditions is through the crew’s complaints about the food and how their bodies are negatively impacted by of the lack of food. Even though food may not be the focus of the story, it is one of the driving factors of the fiction and the exploding fuse that triggers the conflict between the grumpy superintendent and laborers. Owing to the extremely unfair distribution of food, the tension between superintendent and laborers becomes worse and worse, and finally the strike breaks out.

At the beginning of fiction, the superintendent tries every way to take advantage of the laborers and pushes them to work harder and harder. When the confliction between the different classes intensifies, the commuter that is sent from the company brings them good food. “Rice wine, distilled liquor, dried cuttlefish, boiled vegetables, cigarettes, and caramels (p. 51)” After loading the crab cans, laborers are allowed to celebrate the harvest of crabs. However, from what I can see, the celebration to encourage laborers works on the opposite effect. Because the better food causes discontent compared with what laborers used to have to eat before. “ The fishermen had their usual meal of rice so crumbly that they couldn’t pick up a satisfying mouthful on their chopsticks and salty bean soup with thin shavings of something or other is floating on top of it (p. 55).” When laborers have no idea how the Bourgeoisie’s life is, definitely they will not realize that there is a huge contrast between their lives.  After tasting better food and noticing that the distribution of food looks ridiculous, laborers will disdain how they are treated before. Protest and indignation will be caused, and also, the emotion of revolting will expand quickly.

At the very last, the indignation reaches the peak and the strike goes on. Though the first try does not work out, the second one is already on the way. In term of the whole fiction, food is not the main focus but a significant part. It drives the story on and makes laborers realize how unfair the social distribution is. Perhaps Kobayashi tried to criticize society using this point, that what the proletarian pursues is fair.

Aside

Everyone is equal and no class-difference in front of food, which is the main point and significant information that I receive from the film, Tampopo. Tampopo, which directed by Jūzō Itami in 1985, is a comedy film that tells a … Continue reading