Row erupts in France over famed sea explorer Jacques Cousteau's 'disgusting' abuse of marine life
A row has erupted over the legacy of revered French ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau, after a respected critic accused the captain and his crew of “disgusting” animal cruelty in his Oscar-winning film The Silent World.
The adventures of Captain Cousteau, who became a household name sailing the world’s seas in his red bonnet and British-built ship, Calypso, were immortalised in a 1954 film shot by French director Louis Malle.
The film won the Golden Palm in the Cannes Film Festival as well as an Oscar for best documentary and is attributed with raising awareness about the wealth and fragility of marine life.
But more than six decades later, and almost 20 years after Cousteau’s death, Gérard Mordillat, a novelist and film maker, has sparked disquiet in France by slamming the film as “naively disgusting”, saying its main aim was to “p--- off fish and all marine life”.
“It’s horrible, it’s repulsive, it’s something unbearable,” he said.
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