A fine documentary considering Malle was just out of school but what bugs me is that Cousteau spends most of the film making up vaguely scientific things for his crew to get up to. They inhumanely ride turtles, torment a grouper, kill a whale then blame sharks for its death and kill those too. It's kind of appalling that he got away with it. I wonder what changed that turned him into a proper environmentalist?
We learn more about the vile and dominant human nature in this amazing documentary than about the aquatic life itself. By the end of the movie, the sensation that remains is that the world would indeed be a better place without us in it to interfere.
While it is appalling to see scientists driven by violent impulses and inhumane conduct, this film should remain relevant not only because of its beauty and its honesty. Its blunt depiction of man as an invader on Earth shall always remind us how far we've come from the irrational creatures that kill out of hatred, into the thinkers who guard the natural world. Very much, actually, like Cousteau himself.