Sunday, March 21, 2010 | Categories: Episodes
If there was a "Horror Film" category at the Academy Awards, The Cove would have been a prime candidate. The sound of dolphins screaming in panic is not the stuff of fiction. What environmentalist Ric O'Barry is describing is real life, caught on film.
The Cove, which won the Oscar for best documentary this year, tells the story of dolphin-hunting season, which takes place in Taiji, Japan every September.
What goes on in The Cove is, according to the filmmakers, a crime against humanity. And they made the film "to give the oceans a voice."
Every year, fishermen herd migrating dolphins and porpoises into a lagoon, where they capture a few for export to aquariums around the world. The rest, they slaughter. It's done under a cloak of secrecy and, within minutes of the onset of the hunt, calm aquamarine waters become a shocking, horrifying, churn of red.
In many ways, the team behind the The Cove are not just filmmakers. They are activists, environmentalists, and journalists. The making of this film, in the face of tight security and political stonewalling by Japanese authorities, is part of the story. And their campaign to stop the dolphin slaughter is steadfast.
Louie Psihoyos, a former photographer for National Geographic, is the Director of The Cove. It was his first feature film. He is also the Co-Founder of the Oceanic Preservation Society. Mr. Psihoyos joined us from the NPR studio in Los Angeles.
The Cove has won dozens of accolades, including this year's Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. For more information about the film and the dolphin hunt in Japan, go to opsociety.org.
Artist: Piltch & Davis
Helen Mann and Michael Enright
Our host and our guest host take a minute to chat about Michael's big journey across the country that he did for The Sunday Edition's special, Voices from the Train.
Song: You're Gonna Miss Me
Artist: Joe Sealy & Paul Novotny
Good Boy - An Essay
If there was ever a group of people that could be forgiven for losing faith - ocassionally or regularly - it's parents.
When kids go off the rails, patience, affection, just hanging in -they're all pretty hard to come by.
John St. Godard's story about his mother might give some of the
beleagered parental masses a little hope. This is a tale of endurance, steadfastness and love.
Song: Horozontal Blue
Artist: Piltch & Davis
Listen to Hour One:
Song: Janie's Jam
Artist: David Restivo
Album: Prayer for Humankind(ness)
Against the Dying of the Light - Documentary
Like a plant in search of the sun, Fred Ross stretches, leans, bends toward the light. He craves it. He can't live happily without it. And it's hard to find light in a nursing home.
Fred Ross is a celebrated Canadian painter. His work hangs in the National Gallery, and in the best private collections here and abroad. He has the Order of Canada. His wife and muse, Sheila, died a decade ago. His grown children and grandchildren live far away.
Fred Ross now lives - very reluctantly - in a room with one window, a hospital bed, wheelchair, toilet, puffers, intercoms - the sick and dying in the hallways - a difficult place for a rebel spirit.
But that's what Fred Ross still is. A rebel spirit - unwilling to be infantilized, unwilling to pushed around and constrained - and in a constant search for light.
Against The Dying of The Light is a documentary produced by Judith Mackin and Mary Lynk.
Fred Ross and his daughter Cathy will be having a joint exhibition of their work this spring at the Peter Buckland Gallery in St. John.
Song: Ring Them Bells
Artist: Piltch & Davis
Coloured Women's Club of Montreal - Documentary
Last week as Michael Enright was crossing the country by train, he spoke to Dr. Dorothy Williams.
Dr. Williams is an author and a historian who specialises in Montreal's Black History. In that conversation she talked about the Coloured Women's Club of Montreal. For more than a century, Union United Church in Montreal's Little Burgundy district has been a cornerstone of the English speaking black community.
That cornerstone was largely built by the women of the community: specifically, those who belonged to the Coloured Women's Club of Montreal. It is not only the oldest black women's group in Canada - at 108 years of age it is the oldest women's club in the country. And without the club, odds are there would be no church. In her novel No Crystal Stair, Montreal author Mairuth Sarsfield describes the club's members, mostly wives of Pullman porters, as "highly educated and very literate, with charmingly genteel upper-class pretensions and concern for the well-being of 'The Race'".
Every year for the past two decades, its members have led one of the Black History Month Services at Union United Church. This year was no exception.
The Coloured Women's Club of Montreal was produced by Susan McKenzie. The voices you will hear are Shirley Gyles, the current President of the Club, and Vice President Gloria "Babsy" Simmons.
Song: Blessed Assurance
Artist: Cyrus Chestnut
Channeling Jane Austin...
As Cathleen Schine's latest novel opens, the protagonist - an affluent Upper West Side New Yorker - is dumping his wife of 48 years for a much younger woman.
When his wife, who is stunned by this news, asks him why?... he tells her they have "irreconcilable differences".
To which she replies, "Of course there are irreconcilable differences. What on earth does that have to do with a divorce?"
The Three Weissmanns of Westport, is the story of Joseph and Betty Weissmann's divorce - it's a tragic-comic novel about marriages that crumble; strained relations between a mother and her daughters; sibling rivaly; love and lust; broken hearts and death. It is vintage Cathleen Schine material.
She joined Helen Mann from our New York studio.
Song: Remembering Ed
Artist: Denis Dufresne
Album: Denis Dufresne and his Acoustic Eels
Listen to Hour Two:
Song: Saudades Do Brasil, Suite de Danses op. 67
Artist: Branford Marsalis
No Hot Cargo - Documentary
There was a formal diplomatic ceremony last week, in a community hall in Saint John, New Brunswick. The Ambassador of Argentina addressed the crowd of local and provincial dignitaries. He then took a gold medal with a red ribbon and pinned it on the chest of longshoreman, Pat Riley.
The Ambassador was awarding the Order of May, the highest honour the government of Argentina can bestow on a foreign citizen, and one rarely given out.
This was the first time a Canadian ever received it. And he received it on behalf OF all the dock workers, trade unionists, church members, environmentalists and activists who came together to make a bit of history 31 years ago.
In 1979, a brutal military regime ruled over Argentina, torturing and killing tens of thousands of its opponents. Thousands more were languishing in jails as political prisoners. To protest against the Argentine dictatorship, and to seek the release of political prisoners, the longshoremen of Saint John refused to load a cargo of heavy water bound for a Candu reactor in Buenos Aires.
The protest brought together some unique forces - the courage of dock workers, the strategic savvy of Canadian activists, the vulnerabilities of a billion-dollar nuclear industry, and a new minority Conservative government in Ottawa. And it made a difference - in lives saved, and lives changed
Bob Carty's documentary is called, No Hot Cargo.
Music (in the documentary)
Song: No Hot Cargo
Artist: Nancy White
Album: Sort of Political
Song: You Make Time
You Are Not a Gadget!
This is how the day goes for a lot of people. It begins with an email inbox filled with suggestions about the top news stories of the day, as ranked by tens of thousands of anonymous readers around the globe. Friends they have never really met and know only the most basic of things about, their favourite drinks and movies for example, have sent messages detailing how getting ready for work went. They recieve messages from on-line retailers telling them that people who read Winnie the Pooh also purchased the fundamentals of mechanical engineering and it just so happens that the book is 40% off today only. The boss sends them odd messages every hour or so wondering if there is anyway to use a twitter account to boost business, while musing shyly that an explanation of how twitter works would be great. And at least 5 times during the day, our average citizen receives emails with links to You Tube videos featuring dogs begging delightfully or babies caught in truly bizzarre situations. She travels to and from work with a head filled with illegally downloaded music flowing from an MP3 players while trying to keep up with far too many emails on the smartphone purchased because everyone else in the chat room had already done so.
And everyonce in a while this very average individual may wonder how they ever survived before the advent of the internet while also trying to remember what life was like before decision making depended on what the crow thought.
Well Jane Doe isn't alone in harbouring somewhat mixed feelings about where this whole digital transformation of society might be heading. Jaron Lanier is having an even deeper crisis of faith. And that's like saying the Archbishop of Canterbury is rethinking the whole Christianity thing.
Jaron Lanier is a musician, thinker, author, computer nerd and one of the early pioneers of the Internet. He has spent almost 40 years fooling around with software, hardware, interfaces and just about every new piece of technology you can imagine. And all the while he has been reflecting on the new world being made. To say he is conflicted is an understatement.
The results of his mental wrestling have been put together in that most old fashioned form, a hardback book, You Are Not A Gadget: A Manifesto.
Jaron Lanier joined us in our Toronto Studios.
Artist: PJ Perry
Album: Nota Bene
Listen to Hour Three: