Commander Cousteau: what you didn’t know about him – Gala

A little dive into the world of Commander Cousteau on the occasion of the broadcast on Tuesday January 11 at 9:10 p.m. on France 2 of The odyssey, by Jérôme Salle, in which Lambert Wilson plays the man with the red cap.

The origin of his red cap
For the first scuba diving trials in the 19th century, convicts were designated volunteers. To differentiate them from other sailors in ports and spot them in the event of an escape, they wore brightly colored outfits, including a red cap. It was to pay homage to them that Commander Cousteau also decided to wear this headgear, which has become a symbol and which gave it its nickname.

Love life
Jacques-Yves Cousteau married Simone Melchior in 1937 and had two children with her : Jean-Michel and Philippe. But its infidelities are numerous. In 1976, he met Francine Triplet, a flight attendant, with whom he had two children, whom Simone would learn about a few weeks before her death. Six months after Simone’s death, Commander Cousteau married Francine.

Favorite personality of the French
Long before Jean-Jacques Goldman, Yannick Noah or Zinedine Zidane, Jacques-Yves Costeau has won first place in the ranking initiated by Sunday newspaper. 20 times to be exact, over a period extending from 1988 to 1996 (in the past several rankings were carried out each year). He is ahead of Abbé Pierre, winner 16 times.

From the red beanie to the red carpet
After World War II, this former soldier devoted himself to underwater and archaeological exploration. Commander Cousteau contributes to developing the concept of scuba diving and the practice of scuba diving, but JYC becomes truly famous thanks to the film The world of silence, directed by Louis Malle, who won the Palme d’Or at the 1956 Cannes Film Festival then the Oscar for best documentary.

60 years later, while Commander Cousteau has been dead for 18 years, in 1997, this same World of silence sets off a media storm. The filmmaker and novelist Gérard Mordillat explains in a column posted on the web, how much the documentary is “naively disgusting“And that its sole purpose is to”piss off the fish and all the underwater fauna“. According to him, the silence referred to in the title is that which surrounds the massive destruction of marine animals. In Release, the journalist Tristan Berteloot affirms that “Cousteau was a man of the show, nothing else. A man ready to do anything to sell his films and his books, even if it means martyring animals“.

Almost 20 years after his disappearance, Commander Cousteau still has many defenders, especially the men who accompanied him on his adventures. Its former scientific advisor and oceanographer François Sarano recalled that “At the time, knowledge about underwater life was almost non-existent, as was what is now called ecological thought. Cousteau and his crew were genuine explorers, pioneers, and not ideologues“He adds that”in 1954, no one had yet foreseen the disasters to come, not even Cousteau“.

What happened to La Calypso?
After languishing for several years in a hangar due to a dispute between a shipyard and the Cousteau Foundation, the Calypso, the legendary boat of Commander Cousteau, the boat left Concarneau last March. She arrived in Turkey on April 1 (and it is not a fish) in order to be restored and modernized. The boat burns in 2017 delaying the work started.

Commander Cousteau gives “It all started in the water”. No interest except to start a joke in the evening.


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Commander Cousteau: what you didn’t know about him – Gala