Dolphin Man: The Story of Jacques Mayol
Impact | Documentaries
Freediving is not only one of the most dangerous of sports, but one of the most amazing. As Rose George wrote, "In principle, freediving is simple and perilous: divers take one breath, then dive as deep as they can, with no tanks or air, and come back up again. [But] watch a video of this — or Luc Besson’s 1988 film The Big Blue — and you have to hold your own breath, because it is beautiful, streamlined, pitiless…." The Big Blue was inspired by Jacques Mayol, who in 1976 became the first free diver ever to descend to 100 metres. This legend of the sport spent his life setting records and going beyond what was considered humanly possible. He practised yoga and developed a philosophy of the mystical and biological connections between humans and dolphins, but he also embraced the free-wheeling life of a jet-setting playboy in the heady sunshine of the 60s.
This work by Lefteris Charitos is the first nonfiction film to dive into the revolutionary man himself. It documents his times, his obsession with dolphins, diving, ocean conservation, his increasingly eccentric personal life, as well as the legacy he has left behind. There are interviews with friends, family and free-diving champs William Trubridge and Mehgan Heaney-Grier, and the vast beauty of the ocean is explored through fascinating archival footage and breathtaking present-day underwater cinematography.