Summer, 1946. The Cousteau family – Jacques, his wife Simone and their two children Philippe and Jean-Michel – live in their beautiful house by the Mediterranean Sea.
By day they dive, by night they watch the stars. It’s paradise on earth. But Jacques is never content.
He lives and breathes adventure and believes absolutely in the virtues of progress. With his invention, the aqualung, his recently acquired vessel the Calypso, and a crew of free-spirited adventurers, he is ready to cross the world’s oceans.
Ten years later, back from the boarding school he was sent to with Jean-Michel, Philippe finds his father greatly altered – an international celebrity with megalomaniac dreams of grafting gills to humans and creating underwater cities. Jacques cannot see it yet, but Philippe already understands that progress and pollution have begun to lay waste to the submarine world.
Despite their mutual love and admiration, violent conflict between these two passionate men is inevitable. But on their greatest adventure together aboard the Calypso, in Antarctica, they will find each other – before tragedy strikes.
This high-profile biopic of the legendary French underwater explorer is based on books about Cousteau as well as testimony gathered by Jérôme Salle and his team. The underwater footage is staggeringly beautiful, and the drama above the waves is equally enthralling.
“Nothing was spared in Salle’s attempt to bring Cousteau’s life to the screen, with complex underwater work and plentiful location shooting; production designer Laurence Ott has enjoyed himself and the results are often more than handsome.”
Fionnuala Halligan, Screen Daily