Le Grand Bleu: The Inexplicable Bond Between Man and Sea

thebigblueOne of my all-time favorite films:

The Big Blue (released in some countries under the French title Le Grand Bleu) is a 1988 English-language film in the French Cinéma du look visual style, made by French director Luc Besson. The film is a heavily fictionalized and dramatized story of the friendship and sporting rivalry between two leading contemporary champion free divers in the 20th century: Jacques Mayol (played by Jean-Marc Barr) and Enzo Maiorca (renamed to “Enzo Molinari” and played by Jean Reno), and Mayol’s fictionalized relationship with girlfriend Johana Baker (played by Rosanna Arquette).

The film, which covers their childhood in 1960s Greece to their deaths in a Sicilian diving competition at around 400 feet in a 1980s competition, is a cult-classic in the diving fraternity, and became one of France’s most commercially successful movies (although an adaptation for US release was a commercial failure in that country). President of France, Jacques Chirac, referred to the film in describing Mayol, after his death in 2001, as having been an enduring symbol for the “Big Blue” generation.

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