The old man and the sea

“We sea men are not normal. They call us 'sub' because we really are sub-normal. Because what Jacques Mayol did was not normal. If that had been normal we would have been really crazy.” – Giancarlo Formichi, underwater cinematographer and friend of Jacques Mayol

A thoughtful, multi-layered look at the life of free-diver Jacques Mayol (perhaps best known to cineastes as the inspiration for Luc Besson’s divisive but world-famous 1988 film The Big Blue), Dolphin Man is a far more complex film than its title would have you believe. Somehow, director Lefteris Charitos has combined three very different kinds of film – the nature documentary, the voyeuristic thrills of an extreme sports film, and an apparently straightforward biopic – into something infinitely more compelling that transcends all three.

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#MyBlueEurope photo competition

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Are you in love with the sea?

Upload photos of your connection with the sea, rivers or lakes before 31 December 2017 and win a unique diving experience in Greece with the Athens Divers Club*, an online course by world record-holding freediver Sara CampbellCressi diving equipment**, and Dolphin Man cinema tickets across Europe.

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Selected for Moving Docs 2017: Dolphin Man

Discover the story and legacy of Jacques Mayol, the legendary free-diver whose life became the inspiration for Luc Besson's cult-movie The Big Blue.

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Find films on related themes or from the same countries
Dolphin Man - Moving Docs

The life story of Jacques Mayol, the greatest free-diver in recorded history, whose life became the inspiration for Luc Besson’s cult-movie Le Grand Bleu. The film discovers how Mayol revolutionized free-diving and brought a new consciousness to our relationship to the sea and our inner-selves.