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From the vast stretches of the open ocean to the nocturnal landscapes of the ocean's deepest chasms, Deep Blue captures images of life under the ocean, ranging from the most ridiculous life forms to the majestic giants of the sea. From crabs on the shore to lightbulb-like creatures in the depths, the filmmakers capture a range of life that lives and dies in the silent abyss.

Review by Louise Keller:
Meditative, wondrous, informative and mesmerizing, Deep Blue is a miraculous window into the ocean's circle of life. Stunning images together with music make for a visceral experience, with lavish orchestrations featuring the Berlin Philharmonic and haunting choral pieces. Irish actor Michael Gambon's intermittent narration informs, but never intrudes. He is our guide and our connection. The sea may represent two thirds of our planet, but it is a world that few people have seen. Strange at it may be, outer space has been explored in greater depth than the sea. More gripping than any sci-fi thriller, this journey opens our eyes to the world of the oceans' creatures. They are both predator and prey. It is their story for survival, amidst a kaleidoscope of colour, drama, humour and joy.

Produced by the BBC Natural History Unit, Deep Blue took over 5 years to make, and was shot in over 200 locations including the Bahamas, Brazil, Antartica, Argentina Australia, the Maldives and Mexico.

We watch dolphins gliding effortlessly, swimming, leaping, joyously flying, before creating a feeding frenzy as they dive through formations of hundreds of small fish performing underwater ballet. Seabirds run on the surface of the water before taking off like a 707, and then plummeting deep underwater to make their kill, wings flapping like bats. Meeting sea lions on the shore with their pups is a special moment, the camera focusing on the interaction between these soulful-eyed creatures and their playful young. It is hard to remain unaffected, as killer whales pounce on the pups and fling them into the air, while the mother continues on her journey alone. A baby grey whale is guided by its 30 ton mother when sharks intervene. A polar bear paddles like a dog in icy waters when there is no solid ground, before finding its supper in a fishing hole. Emotions are somewhat different as we watch arctic penguins rocket through the air and land on the icy surface. It is impossible not to laugh as we watch them waddling on two feet with poker expressions. How can we not marvel at these creatures whose males starve for three months as their make their way to their destination.

Swooping from the air, to the land, and to the depths of the ocean, we observe and make the acquaintance of a whole range of creatures - from the colourful coral reefs to the blackness of the bottom of the ocean, where creatures and organisms sparkle and shine with neon-like lights. It gives some kind of perspective when we learn that the deepest point is around the height of Mount Everest and Mont Blanc together.

The creatures from Deep Blue have inspired us in all areas of life. They are more fantastic than any sci-fi creation, and their influence is reflected in fashion, jewellery, art, design and technology. The DVD also offers a making of documentary. This is a film that will delight all ages, and like Microcosmos and Travelling Birds, is one that fills us with awe.

Published May 5, 2005

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(UK/Germany, 2003)

NARRATION: Michael Gambon

PRODUCER: Sophokles Tasioulis, Alix Tidmarsh, Nikolaus Weil

DIRECTOR: Andy Byatt, Alastair Fothergill


EDITOR: Martin Elsbury

MUSIC: George Fenton

RUNNING TIME: 83 minutes


SPECIAL FEATURES: Making of documentary

DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow Entertainment

DVD RELEASE: May 7, 2005

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