Jacques Cousteau (1910–1997), who sailed the seas wearing his famous red bonnet, is the idol of every would-be explorer. He was a former naval officer turned explorer and scientist who studied the many forms of sea life. He was best known for his many TV series, but he also made several documentary films during his career.
The Silent World, released in 1956, was the first of Cousteau’s documentary films. It is also one of the few documentaries that have won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. The film follows the adventures of the crew on the M/S Calypso and the creatures they come across while sailing the seas of the world. Cousteau directed the documentary together with the young Louis Malle, who later became one of France’s most famous directors.
The directors’ eye for drama is indisputable. At times, the audience may feel they are watching an underwater dance spectacle, where the fish and the divers dazzle with their most beautiful moves. It also depicts the understanding of animals at the time: for example, the crew’s slaughtering of sharks, classified as ‘evil’, seems to be an act not requiring any further justification.
Text: Lotta Jokinen / Translation: Liina Härkönen
- Name in Original Language: Le Monde du silence
- Director: Jacques-Yves Cousteau
- Country: France
- Year: 1956
- Length: 86 min
- Age limit: K7
- Format: 35 mm
- Cinematography: Edmond Séchan, André Laban, Claude Strada, Armand Davso, Jacques-Yves Cousteau, Frédéric Dumas, Albert Falco, Louis Malle (vedenalainen kuvaus)
- Editing: Georges Alépée
- Audio: Jacques Carrère
- Production: Viviane Blavier-Guibert / Filmad; F.S.J.Y.C [Film Société Jacques-Yves Cousteau]
- Orion: Saturday 31.1. at 16:00