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Being in the World: The Big Blue (Le Grand Bleu)

Climate Series, Being in the World Film Festival

dateSeptember 16, 2022 timeFriday, 7:30pm–10:15pm EDT location Low Memorial Library, Columbia UniversityLow Library Plaza outdoor cinema screening
  • The Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities
  • Cultural Services of the French Embassy
  • Columbia Climate School
  • University Institute for Ideas and Imagination
  • Columbia Global Centers | Paris
  • Alliance Program
  • European Institute
  • Knapp Family Foundation
  • Maison Française
email address [email protected]
  • Free and open to the public
  • RSVP suggested
Film poster of Le Grand Bleu

Outdoor film screening of The Big Blue

The Big Blue (Le Grand Bleu) by Luc Besson, 1988, 168 min.

Film in French with English subtitles.

Director Luc Besson is famous for his imaginative visual technique and breathtaking action sequences. The Big Blue features gorgeous underwater photography and spectacular location shooting in the French Antibes, the Greek islands, Peru, and Taormina in Sicily. But it is the emotional intensity of the film experience and mystical themes of the story that made it into a cult phenomenon and one of France’s most commercially successful films.The movie is a heavily fictionalized and dramatized story of the friendship and rivalry between two champion free divers, Jacques Mayol (played by Jean-Marc Barr) and Enzo Maiorca (played by Jean Reno), and Mayol’s relationship with his American girlfriend Johanna Baker (Rosanna Arquette). Mayol was a screenwriter for the film, and his search for love, family, “wholeness” and the meaning of life and death, and the tension between his yearning for the big blue and his relationship with his girlfriend, also form part of the movie’s backdrop.

To watch trailer, please click here.

This screening is part of Being in the World: People and the Planet in French and Francophone Cinema, a film festival curated and presented by Columbia Maison Française, with additional support provided by Cultural Services of the French Embassy, Columbia Climate School, Knapp Family Foundation, Paul LeClerc Centennial Fund, Columbia University Institute for Ideas and Imagination, Columbia Global Centers | Paris, Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities, Alliance Program, and European Institute.