Japanese politicians pan Oscar winner

Local politicians criticize 'Cove's' victory

TOKYO — The Oscar win for documentary “The Cove” is not getting much applause in Taiji, the port city in western Japan where helmer Louie Psihoyos and his crew secretly filmed the annual dolphin slaughter.

“This film has mistakes of fact,” mayor Kazutaka Sangen told local press. “I’m surprised that it won the award even though its content is not truthful.”

Tokyo-based Medallion Media will release the doc in Japan this summer.

But Sangen said, “(Theaters) with common sense will call off screenings. We intend as a town to tell the truth about the dolphin fishery, both domestically and internationally.”

Yoshinobu Nisaku, the governor of Wakayama Prefecture, in which Taiji is located, said, “Criticizing this business, which has been contributing to the livelihood of Taiji for a long time, with incorrect information and one-sided value judgments, is not the way of a gentleman.”

Katsutoshi Mihara, chairman of the Taiji town council, added, “The Academy Award will be a perfect platform for them (the filmmakers) to trumpet their views, while earning them money in various ways. But nothing will change for us.”

The doc won a slew of awards in 2009, including the audience award at the Sundance Film Festival, honors from the Writers Guild and the Directors Guild, the National Board of Review prize, and the Los Angeles Film Critics’ award.

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