Category Archives: TV & Docu Reviews

The cove (2009) and Blackfish (2013)

Animal documentary reviews – The cove (2009) and Blackfish (2013).

Written by: Souranath Banerjee.

My Rating (for both):4.5/5.

The playful Dolphins and the graceful Killer Whales – they are the two most intelligent, sensitive and harmless aquatic species.

Blackfish-posterAnd they are in danger.

Beyond being simply falling in the ‘animal documentaries’ category  both these films The cove and Blackfish have something much more important in common. They successfully expose the ugly face of our human race.

Unfortunately it so happens that ‘We’ are not only the most evolved species of our planet but also the most selfish, cruel and unsympathetic of all.

cove-poster3We snatch baby killer whales from their parents to confine them in a claustrophobic water-ponds and make them do tricks simply for our entertainment. We lure the playful dolphins to the seashore and mercilessly chop them up for cheaper meat until the ocean turns red in their blood.

We humans are capable of any such inhuman acts for a definite reason – and the only reason that explains everything is MONEY.

Directed by Gabriela Cowperthwaite Blackfish tells the story of the billion-dollar SeaWorld empire primarily based on the success of killer whale performances in front of the live audience’s thunderous applause. blackfish-posterA masterfully crafted documentary that gives us insight on the tragic psychological trauma that the killer whales experience in captivity and it’s effect – the several deaths of the trainers. SeaWorld refused to be interviewed (expected i guess) and tried their best to cover up all the evidences for so many years. But no more.

cove-poster2On the other hand The cove is another thrilling and heartbreaking documentary that reveals Japan’s illegal dolphin meat industry for which hundreds of dolphins are slaughtered everyday in a cove near a town named Taijii. Directed by Louie Psihoyos this Oscar winning documentary uncovers the shocking level of animal cruelty which is again directly a threat to human health (since dolphin meat though lot cheaper in price but is unfit for human consumption).

It is not surprising that still there are some people who really care for the well-beings of other animals and are so passionate to come up with such eye-opening documentaries that (i won’t say completely stop animal abuse but) definitely create a certain sense of awareness.

If you like thrilling real-life cinema, if you enjoy good storytelling and if you love animals and care for them – The cove and Blackfish are the two animal documentaries you shouldn’t miss.

Ban Rapes and the Rapists but not the Documentaries – Nirbhaya Documentary India’s Daughter

Ban Rapes and the Rapists but not the Documentaries – Nirbhaya Documentary India’s Daughter

written by: Souranath Banerjee.

Today i watched a documentary – India’s Daughter also known as the Nirbhaya Documentary.

Made by British writer/director Leslee Udwin, the film is based on the horrific rape incident that took place on 16 December 2012 in Munirka, a neighbourhood in South Delhi, India.

It was around 9:30 in the evening. After watching a film 23-year-old Jyoti Singh along with a (male) friend boarded a private bus for home. The bus circled the highways while both the girl and her friend were brutally beaten and the girl was gang-raped by six men including the driver. 

From the medical reports it is said that some of the severe injuries on the girl was caused by some sort of an iron road which was also used for penetration.

Jyoti Singh died from her injuries thirteen days later while undergoing emergency treatment in Singapore.

Such a monstrous act that only humans are capable of.

The documentary India’s Daughter is not only about this heinous barbaric act that shook the nation but it’s also about the aftermath of the incident.

It’s about the thousands of protests and rallies that took place condemning such acts and demanding safety for women, it’s about the swift actions of law and justice to get the criminals behind the bar and sentence them, it’s about pointing out the flaws in our gender-baised thinking process – and above all it’s a cry for our basic human rights.

But surprisingly India’s Daughter is banned in India!

And like all banned shows the documentary’s viewership demand is currently very high; and since it’s already telecasted by BBC (in spite of the legal notice being served to the channel by our Indian government) and now it’s also easily assessable in the internet (though it’s taken off from youtube) – lot’s of people ARE watching it.

Then again, those who have already seen the documentary (including me) are still trying to figure out why there is a ban on this film?

Nirbhaya Documentary India’s Daughter is a sensitive and intelligent, well-edited documentary filmed with the cooperation of Jyoti Singh’s parents (who are also interviewed in it).

The film also includes the interview of unexpectedly remorseless Mukesh Singh, the driver of the bus and also one of the convicts. The casual way he talks about that horrific incident and his ideas about women and how they should be treated is unspeakable and spine chilling.

This 59 min documentary portrays the helplessness of the convict’s families and also interview the lawyers related to the case. I personally find India’s Daughter neither vulgar nor offensive.

Prominent women leaders of our society Sheila Dixit (Former Delhi Chief Minister), Leila Seth (Former Chief Justice) , Dr. Maria Misra (Writer/Historian), Kavita Krishnan (Secretary All India Progressive Women’s Association) have all given their valuable comments in the film.