Irish Film Institute -THE SILENT WORLD


Director: Jacques-Yves Cousteau & Louis Malle

Italy-France • 1956 • 86 minutes

The legendary self-described ‘oceanographic technician’ Jacques Cousteau was already famed for his underwater explorations before his collaboration with the young Louis Malle on The Silent World, winner of both the Palme d’Or and the Best Documentary Oscar. Filmed over two years in oceans around the globe, the film was one of the first to show the ocean depths in colour. While some of the sensibilities on display may have changed, this digital restoration is undeniably a film of wonder and unspeakable beauty; Cousteau shows us marine life and haunting underwater landscapes so alien as to put any CGI blockbuster to shame. Balancing these remarkable sequences are those showing everyday life aboard the Calypso. Cousteau’s avuncular nature and permanent delight and curiosity in nature are apparent throughout this astonishing film.

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