Liz Garbus’ documentary “Becoming Cousteau” uncovers troves of unseen footage from the voyages and explorations of aquatic star and pioneer Jacques Cousteau. But it additionally charts his personal progress from entertainer to environmentalist and gives a framework for a way society must evolve on comparable problems with local weather change.
“We are in the middle of a climate crisis, and Cousteau’s journey from explorer and conqueror to protector and conservationist is a really relevant one for this moment,” Garbus instructed TheWrap’s Beatrice Verhoeven.
The movie, which made its premiere as a part of the Toronto International Film Festival, begins off by displaying how his early TV exhibits, the “ones we fell in love with,” targeted on “introducing us to the wonders of the sea” and had been full of optimistic messages concerning the world’s pure magnificence. But over time, he seen the adjustments to the surroundings and later in his life took it up as an pressing trigger.
“As he matured and began to see, literally before his very eyes, places he had been diving, disintegrating, and the ocean and the water against his skin getting warmer, he changed.” Garbus instructed TheWrap at TIFF. “I think that his change and his voice and his shows is a metaphor for what the world needs to do. We have to change from that mode of exploitation to conservation.”
Garbus says she and Nat Geo had labored intently with The Cousteau Society over a interval of 5 years to acquire entry to the archival footage that had by no means been seen, regardless that for years the society had been “fiercely protective” of his work and legacy.
“They appreciated that he was becoming lost, and the time was now to discuss what he did and what he learned, and it was urgent actually,” she defined.
“Becoming Cousteau” additionally makes a case that Jacques Cousteau was fairly the innovator, arguing that he’s chargeable for the surge in scuba diving on this planet and straight led to the explosion of underwater, exploration, nature movies and tv that we get pleasure from right this moment.
But she additionally features a line within the movie that Cousteau for years hated the time period “documentary” as a result of it felt like they had been a “lecture from someone who knows better than you.”
“Of course I put that in there as a little wink and my nod to my fellow filmmakers,” Garbus mentioned, including that if he had been making movies right this moment with the plethora of choices he may’ve seen documentaries in another way. “That was the beginning of his journey. He wanted to provide entertainment, it wasn’t about a message. But of course later in his life the message became the dominant thing.”
Check out TheWrap’s full interview with “Becoming Cousteau” director Liz Garbus above.
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