Becoming Cousteau

Becoming Cousteau

Becoming Cousteau

Oscar-nominated director Liz Garbus (What Happened, Miss Simone?) examines the truly epic life of ocean explorer Jacques Yves Cousteau who sailed the globe with his misfit crew of divers and filmmakers.

The Frenchman who first sounded the alarm to save the oceans was born with a dream to fly, but a car accident grounded his aviation career, and he found rehabilitation and inspiration through free-diving in the South of France. His desire to go deeper and further led him to inventions that would forever change the way we see and know the undersea world, co-inventing the “aqualung” and revolutionising underwater cinematography.

At the start, a burgeoning oil industry-backed his explorations paving the way for ocean exploitation. Then, the television industry made him an international star. His trailblazing underwater cinematography and high sea adventures aboard the Calypso introduced generations around the world to the wonders of the seas, but when Cousteau started to see with his own eyes the destruction and degradation of the oceans, he sounded the alarm. But was it too late?

If you know more about film than the ocean, Cousteau may look familiar to you. That's because he was a large inspiration for Wes Anderson's 2004 film The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou.

2021Rating: M, Occasional coarse language94 minsUSA, France
Documentary

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Becoming Cousteau / Reviews

RogerEbert.com

RogerEbert.com

Sometimes feels less ambitious than (Garbus') best work but... I found (it) remarkably soothing...

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Hollywood Reporter

Hollywood Reporter

A wonderfully intimate portrait of the legendary oceanographer.

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Screen Daily

Screen Daily

(A) focused, comprehensive documentary...

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IndieWire

IndieWire

While the story of Cousteau’s life is matter-of-factly handled, and with an eye toward optimism, he remains a towering figure worthy of deep consideration.

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