TIFF Review: Becoming Cousteau

Jacques Cousteau

We are born inquisitive. Childhood is one great exploration. The world around us seems infinite, exciting and scary. As we grow older, it gradually shrinks. This curiosity usually fades as we enter a world of work and family. However, for some, it lasts a lifetime. These adventurers and explorers look to the stars and to the farthest and remotest reaches of our planet, searching for a new challenge. Others dream of the mysteries of the uncharted deep.

While Jacques Cousteau used to be a household name for millions of people all across the world, his exploits have largely been forgotten by younger generations. Aware that the Frenchman’s legacy could be forgotten, award-winning filmmaker Liz Garbus decided to set matters straight. In Becoming Cousteau, she takes a rounded look at his life, including his groundbreaking films and TV work, conservationism and complex family life.

Becoming Cousteau is a fascinating portrait of a complex man. As you’d probably expect, given the subject matter, there are reels and reels of fantastic footage, much of which has been recently restored. It’s combined cleverly with insightful interviews which takes the audience through his life, loves and regrets. He was a visionary in many senses and with Becoming Cousteau hopefully a new generation will discover his work and a love of the sea.

Becoming Cousteau screens at Toronto International Film Festival.  

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