TIFF 2021: Becoming Cousteau dir. Liz Garbus

Like a lot of people my age grew up in the 70s tuning into The Undersea World of Jacques Costeau, in our house, it would be paired Sunday evenings with The Wonderful World of Disney. I had one of his books as a child, and would pore over the pictures and text for hours, losing myself in the beautiful realm that so enchanted Jacques-Yves Costeau, captain of the Calypso.

It probably helps explain my love of the ocean, I am very much a water baby, and most at home swimming or diving (something that has sadly fallen by the wayside).

But for all that I knew very little of the actual man itself, Liz Garbus’ film, which she also produced, corrects that oversight, and for the first time, a visual biography is availble to, if you’ll pardon the pun, dive into.

Garbus’ guides us through Costeau’s life with film (Costeau’s own love of the cinema had him and those around him shooting film constantly), interviews, and documents, and much like Costeau’s own efforts, is accessible, enjoyable, and vibrant.

In fact the film is a perfect companion piece to all of Costeau’s work. And instead of exploring the mysterious open depths, the film plumbs the depths of a human life, and soul, laying bare, gently, and respectively, the triumphs and tragedies that shaped Costeau.

It’s a fascin

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