Released in 1988 and filmed in the Mediterranean, “Le Grand Bleu” or Big Blue was inspired by the work of Jacques Mayol, a diver who loved nature – and dolphins in particular. Mayol became the first person to descend 100 metres without breathing equipment. “Big Blue” has influenced several generations and revolutionized our relationship with the sea. This new film is also about the early ecological crusader, looking at his life and legacy.
Born in Shanghai in1927, Jacques Mayol spent his summers in Japan, where he learnt to dive. In 1939 his family moved to Marseilles and travelled widely. In his professional life, his work at the Miami Seaquarium introduced him to a dolphin called Clown, who changed the course of Mayol’s life. He then set a series of free-diving records, finally attaining 105 metres. In 1986, he published a largely autobiographical book, “Homo Delphinus, The Dolphin within Man”, closely followed by the heavily fictionalized film “The Big Blue” directed by Luc Besson and presented at the opening of the Cannes Film Festival, later selling 9.2 million tickets in France. In 2001, aged 74, Jacques Mayol committed suicide at his home on the island of Elba.
According to director, Lefteris Charitos “this new film, “Dolphin Man”, is the story of a charismatic man who divided his life between the land and the sea, raising awareness of our affinity with the sea. Athlete, philosopher and adventurer, Jacques Mayol travelled around the world and convinced many of the need to reconnect with nature. The film deals with essential issues related to the human condition: death, physical limits, our return to nature, the pitfalls of personal ambition and celebrity, the balance of body and mind through meditation. All these themes connected to Jacques Mayol’s life are the basis of the documentary. “Dolphin Man” engages the viewer both intellectually and emotionally. For Mayol, every dive was an attempt to bring the body and the mind into harmony. We share this experience, diving into the depths, where everything is very dark, very still, scary – but also peaceful. This sensory journey is made possible by modern underwater filming techniques and the best divers in the world.”
In addition to the cinema release of “L’Homme Dauphin, sur les traces de Jacques Mayol”, a Virtual Reality animation, is available on request at Dolphin Man VR. An immersion in the blue and deep world of free-diving, it features three of the discipline’s major names, who are all part of the Jacques Mayol legacy. Directed by Benoît Litché, these three films invite the viewer to share the sensory experience of free-diving by following William Trubridge, the current world record holder, Fabrice Schnöller, apneist, engineer and biologist who deciphers the language of dolphins and sperm whales and Sara Campbell, former apnoea champion and yoga teacher.
The film will be shown as from May 30th in various cinemas across southern France, for more information click here: https://www.facebook.com/lhommedauphinlefilm/