Film Offers Modern Looks at Underwater Life

Friday, February 03, 2006
The Silent World will expose discoveries that are as vibrant and beautiful today as they were when first exposed 50 years ago. At the film’s beginning, viewers follow a group of scuba divers wearing a new Aqualung technology to their destination, a motion-picture studio 65 feet under the sea. However, this studio has no actors, backdrops, or special effects. Instead, there are the divers themselves and the diverse variety of sea creatures that surround them. Their continually changing backdrop also includes the endless depths of the Mediterranean Sea. Later, the diving crew resurfaces and takes the film aboard Cousteau’s research ship, the Calypso. Onboard we are introduced to the crew members who will be undertaking several important scientific missions: mapping the ocean floor using sonar technology, documenting the different types of fish and ocean life and, hopefully, making some unexpected discoveries along the way. Comedy is present throughout, as the crew, composed of scientific researchers and academics, breaks away from the science and indulges the audience in some underwater fun. The crewmembers swim with and ride on the backs of sea turtles, eat fresh seafood and film their capture and imprisonment of a large fish they dub Ulysses. The film can get graphic, especially when the ship runs over a baby whale that soon turns the water around them crimson red, attracting the attention of over a dozen sharks. Even more shocking, and perhaps even politically incorrect, is a scene that shows the crew clubbing many small sharks to death. But despite these acts—including a scene of dynamite fishing and the exploration of a shipwreck—all activities were performed for the sake of scientific research, giving the film a genuine insight of exploration and discovery and lending the audience a view of a world they might never see. (Source: The Gateway)

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