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The story of Jacques Mayol on cinema screens again! What awaits us?

It’s 30 years since the release of Luc Besson’s cult film The Big Blue, inspired by the life of one of history’s greatest divers. Now you can get to know Jacques Mayol even better. On 17 August, Lefteris Charitos’ documentary “The Dolphin Man” comes to cinemas. Unique archival material – films, photos or statements, you
Published: August 16, 2018 - 16:30
Updated: July 22, 2023 - 17:09
The story of Jacques Mayol on cinema screens again! What awaits us?

It’s 30 years since the release of Luc Besson’s cult film The Big Blue, inspired by the life of one of history’s greatest divers. Now you can get to know Jacques Mayol even better. On 17 August, Lefteris Charitos’ documentary “The Dolphin Man” comes to cinemas. Unique archival material – films, photos or statements, you will see it all in the documentary “The Dolphin Man”.

Jacques Mayol is one of the greatest divers in history, a multiple world record holder in deep-sea diving, described as a dolphin man, a theorist and passionate diver, a philosopher whose complicated personal life inspired Luc Besson’s cult film The Big Blue (for which Mayol co-wrote the screenplay).

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He was the first free diver to descend to a depth of 100 metres, and the first diver to introduce yoga as part of his freediving training. His concept of the unity of man with the ocean, including dolphins, as presented in his biographical book “Homo Delphinus” is the basis for all deep-sea divers.

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A fascinating journey into an underwater world

Nominated for the International Awards for Valor in Sports for his perseverance and bravery in pushing the limits, he sought to answer the question of whether man has a hidden underwater potential that can be awakened through rigorous physical and psychological training. Based on Mayol’s unique archive, the film portrays his life and philosophy.

[blockquote style=”2″]”Dolphin Man” engages the viewer on an emotional and sensual level, says director Lefteris Charitos. – For Mayol, diving was always an attempt to balance body and mind. We share the experience with him, plunging to immense depths where there is a still darkness that simultaneously frightens and fills with peace, returning together to the stunning light on the surface.”[/blockquote]

This sensory journey is made possible by modern technology, allowing the world’s best divers to be filmed underwater, giving us a chance to see what happens to the human body and mind at great depths. In the film we travel through Japan, Miami, Marseilles, the Caicos Islands, Kalymnos and Elba, all of which had a significant impact on Mayol’s biography.

Intimate comments from friends and family

We meet a charismatic man, torn between land and water, who risked his life not for fame but for a higher purpose. Diving gave him the chance to become a messenger who reached the limits of the human body and mind not only to break previous records, but to discover a deeper affinity between man and the sea.

The film weaves together stunning contemporary underwater photography by the world’s best divers with intimate commentary from Mayol’s closest friends, family and world champion divers. The film is narrated by Jean-Marc Barr, who played Mayol in The Big Blue.

“The Dolphin Man” received the “Co Jest Grane 24” Readers’ Award at the 15th Millennium Docs Against Gravity Film Festival.

The film opens in cinemas on 17 August! Against Gravity is the distributor.

Source: Against Gravity

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About author

Tomasz Andrukajtis
Editor-in-chief of the DIVERS24 portal and magazine. Responsible for obtaining, translating and developing content. He also supervises all publications. Achived his first diving certification – P1 CMAS, in 2000. Has a degree in journalism and social communication. In the diving industry since 2008.
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