Girls in high heels teetered down the aisle of the theater at Cinema 2 on Third Avenue, searching for their names on the red cushioned seats, getting reading to watch the New York City premiere of the documentary The Cove, a heart-wrenching film about the 23,000 dolphins that are killed in one little cove in Taigi, Japan, each year.
Ben Stiller, who stood at the front of the theater before the movie began, said that after he saw The Cove at the Nantucket Film Festival, he “wanted to go to Japan and become an activist.” But he couldn’t, because he had a rental on Nantucket!
His wife, actress Christine Taylor, told the Transom of the film, “It changed our lives. Literally. It was the best way to get my kids to leave the house and I could say to them, ‘Were going to see the film that will change the dolphins!’ It blew me away.”
Actor Adrian Grenier walked in wearing a T-shirt, sat down with a group of women, and was one of the first to stand up and clap when the movie was over.
Publicist Kristian Laliberte was crying in the back. He originally wasn’t going to attend but after watching the trailer he decided to go. “Unbelievable,” he said. “You should have seen me at Brokeback Mountain. They had to ask me to leave I was crying so loud!”
Richard O’Barry went from being the man who trained the dolphins for the television show Flipper, which led to the multibillion-dollar business of places like Sea World, to being an activist against dolphin captivity. For the last 35 years he has been around the world trying to free these animals.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr., actor Fischer Stevens, Netscape founder Jim Clark and Mr. O’ Barry sat in front of the audience after the movie and took questions.
Mr. Kennedy told the Transom he thought the film was riveting. “All people have to do is see this, and it’s going to change because it’s so outrageous what is happening there. They’re destroying public health, they’re destroying 23,000 dolphins a year, they’re slaughtering them in the most inhuman, awful way, they’re subverting democracy, they’re corrupting democratic institutions across the world.”
As guests left the theater, one girl in a bright purple mini dress said, “And my bag is made out of Sting Ray!!” as her friend said back, “I’m going to get my mercury level checked, like tomorrow.”
From Third Avenue to Fifth, some guests walked, and others took their town cars to the Rouge Tomate restaurant for dinner and cocktails. Mr. Clark and his wife pulled up in their Maybach.
“Does this mean I can’t eat Sushi anymore? I love Sushi. I live right next to Nobu,” one guest said as she held on to the book that everyone received called Diagnosis: Mercury: Money, Politics, and Poison, by Jane Hightower.