Theater Image Forum will bow the pic on July 3

Six theaters in Japan have agreed to screen “The Cove,” helmer Louie Psihoyos’ controversial documentary about the annual dolphin slaughter in Taiji, Japan.

Theater Image Forum in Tokyo will bow the pic on July 3, as will Yokohama New Theater and four other venues around the country.

Distrib Unplugged unveiled the extra sites at a symposium to discuss the local reaction to the docu on Monday in Tokyo.

The addition of the six theaters makes up for the two in Tokyo and one in Osaka that bailed on the docu in early June, citing the threat of rightist sound trucks causing a ruckus in their neighborhoods as a factor in their decision.

Some theaters in northern Japan also dropped “The Cove,” raising concerns among civil libertarians that right-wing pressure might lead to the docu’s suppression in Japan.

Speaking at the symposium, helmer Yoichi Sai commented that audiences “must be free to watch films. That’s the reason movie theaters exist — so that they can exercise that freedom.”

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