A documentary film with a message
“For a long, long time, I contemplated the ocean without understanding it. I could feel the immense energy of its waters. I was astonished by the depths of its blues. I breathed the air of the wide open seas. But in reality, I saw nothing...”. This is how the film Planet Ocean begins.
Advocating stewardship of the ocean
By means of some breath-taking aerial images by Yann Arthus-Bertrand and other stunning visuals shot by award-winning underwater cameramen, the film takes viewers on an unprecedented journey to the heart of our blue planet.
Jointly written with Michael Pitiot, in collaboration with a new team of oceanographers and biologists from several countries, this choral work reminds us that we are all inhabitants of the same blue planet and explores the ancestral and fragile link uniting mankind with the oceans. Planet Ocean is a plea for respect for the world in which we live. With a preview screened at the Rio +20 Earth Summit, this film highlights the need for a general understanding of the oceans and for governance on a global scale. Such governance appears to be an effective solution for the better management of the high seas, which are presently free of any system of control.
“The ocean belongs to no one, and therefore to everyone, to the first one to help himself…”
A word from the director
“Whales and dolphins are not the ocean’s only inhabitants. The citizens of the Maldives in the Pacific should be taken into account, as well as the fishermen of Papua New Guinea. There are also the sailors who roam the seas in their fishing boats or on one of the numerous container ships shuttling between China and the USA. Then there are all the residents of coastal cities like New York, Shanghai, Rotterdam, Nagoya, etc. We all know this, even though we sometimes forget: we live on a single planet, which is blue. Because the oceans supply the oxygen we breathe, because they produce a significant share of our food, because they facilitate most of our trade, they are at the heart of all our lives.
Little known, as well as being little loved sometimes because of their potential danger and always undervalued, the oceans have maintained a strong link with us. The soothing qualities of the ebb and flow of their waves is perhaps a sign of this, as is the fact that the beach remains the favourite destination of holidaymakers who want a break from their daily routine of concrete and tarmac. Or perhaps because we all come from the same primitive soup which enabled life to appear billions of years ago. This is the link I wanted to show in the film, so generously supported by the Omega group. I wanted to show the beauty of the oceans, their diversity, their usefulness, but also the threats facing them today and the solutions we can bring to bear. For mankind is both the cause and the solution of all these problems.
To execute this project, Michael Pitiot and I called on the best cameramen and the best experts on the ocean. They pooled their efforts to produce and assemble the most beautiful, striking and meaningful images of our oceans. In a way, the film is not only mine. It is a choral work created in the image of the collective efforts and new solidarity that must be developed and implemented to protect our planet. For we must, of course, work together to change the world. Each of the photographers and cameramen with whom I was so happy to work has had a similar experience to mine: each has seen the beauty of the world, has been moved by it, and has chosen to demonstrate this by protecting it. Although the world has changed and is facing many threats, it remains magnificent.
To speak of its beauty is, perhaps, to arouse the passion needed to preserve it. “It is not my thorns that protect me, says the rose, it is my fragrance,” wrote Paul Claudel. In the same way, it is not the dire predictions of environmental Cassandras that will save the world. It is our ability to be moved, to feel its beauty. It is also our ability to see the beauty that lives in each one of us and, sometimes, to let it blossom by opening ourselves to others and leaving our hearts to speak of love. It is love that will change our world. That is what I am trying to say in this film. That is what I have always tried to say.”
President of the GoodPlanet Foundation
This film is available free of charge to educational networks, public institutions and NGOs courtesy of the GoodPlanet Foundation.